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Chemical Warfare (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Previewed heavily on the producer's 2008 EP, The Cookbook, Alchemist's often-delayed album, Chemical Warfare, matches his 2004 release, 1st Infantry, when it comes to both quality control and riveting beats, but fans expecting nothing but that hardcore punch may be alienated by a handful of surprisingly mainstream numbers. With guest singer Maxwell in full neo-soul mode, "Smile" is the sunshine bright high point of the crossover tracks, with the club-aimed Three 6 Mafia and Juvenile feature "That'll Work" running a close second. On the flipside there's the underground sound of Gangrene — Alchemist's project with Oh No — along with the hypnotic backpacker cut "Therapy," which returns from The Cookbook EP, but improved with an added verse from Talib Kweli. Kicking off the Lady of Rage comeback with the great Dogg Pound team-up "On Sight" displays the kind of throwback smarts that have earned the producer respect from the hip-hop faithful. Temper that with the absolutely filthy, very funny, and very short title track with Eminem, and the album offers the full Alchemist picture. He's confident enough to be sacrilegious yet smart enough to offer substance, and while not every returning Dilated Peoples or Mobb Deep fan will be able to hang with his more mature side, Chemical Warfare keeps this capo's reputation in tact. Recommended for aspiring dons and more open-minded thugs. [Chemical Warfare was also made available in a clean version with all explicit material removed.]

Customer Reviews

Flip and Make A Whole 'Nother Sound

Alchemist pulls out all the stops on his Sophomore album, 'Chemical Warfare'. With his recent productions on the MPC 5000 (as opposed to the Alchemist's '1st Infantry' (freshman album) ASR10 productions), Alchemist has cooked up loops and interludes that exceed any hip-hop fan's wildest dreams. Tracks like the 'ALC Theme', 'That'll Work', and 'Keep the Heels On' provide sampling techniques that are not commonly used by any producer in the rap game. Of course, Alchemist brings his most impressive work on track 8, with 'Smile'. With the back-to-basics sample, laced with a hard, bassed-out organ with rolling, rapid and fluctuating bongo drums, Alchemist brings us the future of music. With the lights being blown out by Maxwell's unforgettably emotional chorus, Alchemists new and improved ("smoothing-out-my-rapping") rap-flow, and Twista's blazing paced verse, 'Smile' certainly is reason enough to warrant a purchase of the entire album. It has been unseen in the hip-hop world to have such a beautifully sung chorus to go along with rapping on just a single track until 'Smile'. Finally, a Dr. Dre/Compton inspired 'Take a Look Back' leaves a vibe that will certainly withstand the tests of time. Overall, the album is a timeless masterpiece that will go down as a timeless classic, whether or not it goes to the gold or platinum status, or stays on the back-burner in the underground.


There are a lot of artists that went into this album that makes every song different. This is one album that it is easy to play through and not get bored after the 5th or 6th song. I hope that Alchemist keeps up the good work and stays as Eminem's dj.

alc theme and keep the heels on wheewwwww

i heard most of this album before it dropped ...keep the heels on def is up for jam of the summer so far ..alc theme to ..good work alan


Born: October 14, 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...
Full Bio
Chemical Warfare (Bonus Track Version), The Alchemist
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Customer Ratings