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Music To Skate To: “The Alchemist”

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.

 

Born in October 1977, Daniel Alan Maman, begun his career in the music industry in 1991 in the hip-hop duo The Whooliganz and forme there, he has moved one to be one of the best-known producers working for some of the best hip hop artists of the new Millenium.

He has not left his own music endeavors behind, as he had made of his instrumental records a must listen among the hip hop community, he is dedicated to producing the best beats that have his signature style and make him stand out from other producers in the industry.

B-Real from Cypress Hill discovered Al at a party in L.A. where he was invited to perform for other more renowned artists of that era, B eventually invited Al to join his crew “The Soul Assassins”, to work alongside dudes that were breaking into the industry such as House of Pain.

After finding an interest in beats rather than performing, Maman broke into the industry by producing records and collaborating with some of the biggest names in hip hop like Mobb Deep, Nas, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Ghostface Killah, and Snoop Dogg himself!

The dude did not stop there and even participated with musicians of various genres including the guys from Linking Park.

 

 

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The Alchemist

Now, let’s get into the good SHIT®! This dude has been putting out endless mixtapes and collabs in over 20 years of career, but we are going to check out some of his most acclaimed work, something that you could really get into if you give it a chance, but if you love hip hop, something that you WILL definitely be hooked on after a few listens.

His solo work is something that you need to discover first to be able to know what he is about since this is the main foundation of his fame and all of his other collabs with many rappers, his unique style, and almost spotless trajectory has led him not to be just any producer who stays in the background while the rimes make their way on his beats, it’s more a complementary work that even gets full albums with his name + the rappers name. Making it a whole different and fresh piece of material in which both of the artists (led by the alchemist) fuse up the perfect mix of styles to create something one of the kind.

 

Chemical Warfare (2009)

His second solo work is one of the most acclaimed in his career due to all of the insane collabs in the album. With over a decade of being released is still somewhat timeless and the way the beats in the album are created gives this work a very futuristic approach that we can definitely see being of impact for the new generation of rappers.

The work opens up with Al dropping his own lyrics and the featuring voice of Kool G Rap to a sample of A Clock Work Orange! To be followed up with a sick feature of Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, and Pusha T with "Lose Your Life" with dark and trippy beats which make a perfect companion for the theme of the song which is how easy is to lose it when you dedicate it to doing weird SHIT® if you know what I mean, the song got its own “music video” with hilarious cartoon versions of the rappers and Maman himself in all sorts of shady situations involving death, weird chemicals and zombies!

One of the best highlights of this work is the song Al performs with EMINEM, named as the album “Chemical Warfare” the 1:23 minute song filled with political and pop culture critique will leave you hungry for more, the rest of the album we will leave for you to discover!

 

 

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Israeli Salad (2015)

This particular delivery is where we really see The Al shine, fully instrumental beats with vocal samples that will take you on a trip that you won’t want to come down from.

Being his 12th instrumental release after his first instrumental album 15 years back (2000) you can see the evolution of the man as a craftsman of modern beats, going further away from the regular NY street hip hop based beats to include modern and fresh samples from various sources, from movie to literature references in pop culture.

The name of the album will also tell you a little bit of the musicality of the beats, with middle eastern vocals and musical influences sampled to perfection to make a very enjoyable musical experience that we will not be able to conceive with actual lyrics on! That’s exactly what the music this dude makes it’s about, bringing beats from the back of the tunes all the way to the front, leaving vocal samples as a complement for them.

The 20 tracks of this particular album will have you non stop appreciating the importance of the beatmakers in music, Chetzi, track number 7 on the album it’s probably the best one with a hidden sample of 50 cents voice to go along with the extremely captivating beat.

This is a MUST listen and we are willing to risk it by giving this album four stars out five!

As we mentioned previously, the list will be almost endless and it would take a while for us to be able to check all of these dudes work in the over two decades he has been in business, but these 2 recommendations we have for you are sure to provide you with a pretty good idea of the development Alan Maman, AKA The Alchemist has had over the years, this man has always been ahead of his time and he is totally worthy of being known as one of the greatest beatmakers in history.

An alchemist by definition is a person who transforms or creates something through a seemingly “magical process”, this is exactly what this guy has been doing with beats and hip hop for over 20 years, hats off to him. 

 

Read also: Music To Skate To: Wavves

Read also: Music To Skate To: Beach Fossils

 

 

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