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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 30, 2019 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released July 21, 2017 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released November 30, 2018 | ALC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 5, 2019 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released June 1, 2018 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released March 17, 2017 | ALC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 17, 2012 | Mass Appeal

Although he's worked with some of rap's biggest hitmakers -- Eminem, Nas, Fat Joe, and so on -- producer the Alchemist is a rangy dude, hanging those platinum albums on the wall on one hand, while sticking with underground thugs like Mobb Deep through thick and thin on the other, all while keeping his left-field rep in check by wilding out with producer/rapper Oh No in the Gangrene project. Coming hot off the heels of Gangrene's Vodka & Ayahuasca -- a very '70s and very psychedelic album -- Russian Roulette is the Alchemist going solo and thematic, constructing tracks by sampling old Russian records -- jazzy, psychedelic, soulful, and otherwise -- and grabbing some dialog from '80s movies that were cold war-themed. His final touch is the jaw- droppingly excellent guest list that contributes to these 30 short tracks, all strung together for an album meant to be taken as a whole. That last bit of advice comes from the Alchemist himself, and it's certainly the best plan, as these shards of tight-knit '70s pop loops, jazz drum breaks, and funky bass beats -- all of them feeling very Euro-sourced and not necessarily Russian -- are arranged like a wild mixtape from the edge. This cohesive piece is still dotted with stand-out moments, including Action Bronson doing his usual, magical food thing ("Decisions Over Veal Orloff"), Danny Brown and Schoolboy Q teaming-up for a cut with that wild, Ol' Dirty Bastard bounce ("Flight Confirmation"), and Evidence returning for a cut which feels like the chilled follow-up to his previous great Alchemist team-up "So Fresh" ("Never Grow Up"). Those with a Soviet fetish could argue that past "Flight of the Bumble Bee" and the red scare artwork, the album doesn't deliver enough of the superpower's Cold War strut, but getting hung up on Russian Roulette not sounding Russian enough would be like complaining that the Beatles Revolver doesn't shoot straight. It's an amazing record even without the concept, comrade. ~ David Jeffries
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 23, 2007 | Mass Appeal

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 6, 2012 | Mass Appeal

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 8, 2005 | eOne Music

If you're well versed in East Coast hardcore rap of the late '90s and early 2000s (Nas, Mobb Deep, the LOX, etc.), chances are you're familiar with the Alchemist, even if you've never heard of him until now. Know first, if you don't already, he's no rapper. He's a fairly quiet guy, in fact, a hard-working producer who lets his beat-making speak for him -- dark, forceful productions for some of the best dark, forceful rappers in New York and beyond. Roughly ten years after he broke into the game big time with Queensbridge rappers Infamous Mobb and, in turn, Mobb Deep, he unleashed his debut album, 1st Infantry. It's a godsend for fans of his productions. Up until this point, you've had to gather up his work one production at a time -- for instance, a track or two from the latest Nas album, a couple from the recent Mobb Deep album, and so on. No more need to scavenge, however, as 1st Infantry is somewhat of an Alchemist mixtape, rounding up 19 different productions, all of them exclusive to this album and each boasting a brand-name rapper. Some of the featured rappers here include Nas (the top active rapper in New York circa late 2004); Prodigy and Havoc (of Mobb Deep); Styles, Sheek, and J-Hood (of the LOX); the Game and Lloyd Banks (of G-Unit); Dilated Peoples (a top Left Coast hip-hop group that is a bit of a wonderful surprise here); and others including M.O.P., Devin the Dude, Chinky, B Real, and T.I. Believe it or not, everything here is first-rate -- the beats especially. You really have to wonder whether or not the Alchemist had been saving some of his best beats for himself! The raps are a bit off the cuff -- freestyle-like, actually -- which is precisely what you'd expect from a mixtape-style album like this. Hooks are minimal, if existent at all, but that's just fine for an album like this. This is no commercial effort. It's not targeted at radio or MTV or anything like that. Rather, it's a fairly underground effort, emphasizing beats and rhymes -- not pop hooks and the latest trends. One for the true hip-hop heads this is, and further proof that the Alchemist is one of the top producers in the game circa 2004. So forget about Kayslay, Whookid, Green Lantern, and all those dudes. Sure, they put out some tight mixtapes, but can they craft beats like these? Those guys are just the medium -- Alchemist is the source. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Miscellaneous - Released July 27, 2018 | ALC

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Pop - Released July 1, 2016 | Flow Double H Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 29, 2019 | ALC

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Pop - Released November 18, 2008 | eOne Music

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Miscellaneous - Released September 30, 2014 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released May 26, 2015 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released September 5, 2014 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released July 10, 2015 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released February 15, 2019 | ALC

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Miscellaneous - Released December 25, 2013 | ALC