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Album Review

With producer/rapper the Alchemist and rapper/producer Oh No behind the project, Gangrene is dirty, underground hip-hop excellence as expected, but Vodka & Ayahuasca takes it to another level, or realm. "This is an acid trip/Rancid spit" is how this album's title track explains the conceptual rip in space and time that's laid down throughout, as Hendrix headbands and hi-tops come together like rap was spawned with the help of George Clinton's Funkadelic rather than George Clinton's Parliament. "Auralac Bags" smells as much of old reefer as it does of modern indo, and even as tracks like "Dump Truck" thump with the modern boom-bap, a sitar or whammy-bar is bound to sneak in, making sure the total album experience lives up to its mind-bending cover art. This is dense stuff, too, creating a patchouli cloud of sound that somehow still allows for prime beats and hooks to come through. Think Nick Cannon starring in Good Times or Vivica A. Fox and Pam Grier as contemporaries and you've got the magic of Vodka & Ayahuasca, a "not for everyone" album that lives in an impossible universe you never thought existed, and now have a chance to visit.

Biography

Born: 14 October 1975 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Ignoring the coastal feuds that dominated hip-hop for most of the '90s, the Alchemist (born Alan Maman) began his career in L.A. (he grew up in affluent Beverly Hills) and ended up in New York City. As a teenager, as part of the duo the Whooliganz (with Scott Caan, son of James) and the greater rap collective the Soul Assassins (with Cypress Hill, House of Pain, etc.), he released the single "Put Your Handz Up" on Tommy Boy in 1993, though the Whooliganz' debut full-length, Make Way for the W, was...
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Vodka & Ayahuasca, The Alchemist
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