The Alchemist Biography
According to myth, an Alchemist has the power to transform something common into something special. So is the case with California’s own, The Alchemist. His tendency to transform a common sample into audio emotion has quickly made him one to watch in the new millennium era of hip-hop.
In 1993, The Alchemist was introduced via Soul Assassins as half of duo he Wooligans; the youngest of a hit-making fraction that included Cypress Hill, House Of Pain and Funkdoobiest. The duo’s Muggs-produced single, “Put’ Cha Hands Up”, garnered underground awareness and planted the seed for what has become The Alchemist's career in hip-hop music. Under the guidance of Cypress Hill’s own DJ Muggs (House of Pain, Goodie Mob, GZA), Al cranked out track after track while simultaneously paying his dues on the road with Cypress Hill. He made a notable first impression as producer with a remix for Cypress Hill’s “Tequila Sunrise Rmx” featuring Fat Joe. Al then continued sharpening his skills by providing production for underground mainstays Dilated Peoples. His work with the group led to underground classics like “The Platform”, “Guaranteed” and “The Platform Rmx.”
Just like the major influences before him (Muggs, DJ Premier and Large Professor), The Alchemist was earning himself a name synonymous with the dusty finger-esque production of yore and found himself producing notable classics for the likes of Defari, Pharohe Monch, Royce da 5’9, and Mobb Deep. It was with Mobb Deep that The Alchemist started to be recognized for his more aggressive style of beat making when he produced two highlights on the group’s platinum album gem, Murda Muzik ("The Realest", "Thug Music"). While the underground crowd was already aware of Al’s tendency for hardcore tracks, artists like Fat Joe ("Bring it On"), Eminem ("Get Back") Freddy Fox (“Stock in The Game”) and Capone-N-Noreaga ("Bang, Bang") soon noticed Al as a producer that could prepare the right musical background for them to capture their aggression.
Press took note of this work in January 2002 when The Alchemist was named one of the top producers of the year in The Source Magazine, alongside the likes of Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Mannie Fresh of Cash Money and Timbaland. The recognition has surged demand for Al’s signature sound from a diverse set of new sources, as he has been sought out for projects with Jadakiss ("We Gone Make it"), Prodigy ("Keep It Thoro"), Nas ("Book Of Rhymes"), Snoop Dogg ("Hey Girl"), Ludacris, Ghostface Killa, Big Daddy Kane as well as alternative acts such as Linkin Park and Morcheeba.
Despite the increasing attention from high profile acts, Al continues to cater to his underground audience with just as much enthusiasm. A limited-edition commemorative vinyl of his most hard to find instrumentals, The Alchemist released ALC Street Themes, is currently available. According to the record’s distributor, Fat Beats, the vinyl continues to be the highest selling hip-hop instrumental album ever.
Since recently being added to the management roster of Paul Rosenberg, founder of powerhouse firm Goliath Artists (Eminem, Xzibit, Cypress Hill), The Alchemist looks forward to taking his biggest and best step forward in his work in the coming year. Already, Al has produced Mobb Deep’s newest single “Got it Twisted”, and can currently be heard on Coca-Cola's new Vanilla Coke radio commercial that he produced and performed on with acclaimed actor, Chazz Palminteri (Usual Suspects, Bronx Tale). Alchemist also produced the new street single for Cypress Hill, “Latin Thugs” featuring Tego Calderon.
In June 2004, The Alchemist will release his first opus entitled Alchemist: 1st Infantry. The album is a mixture of artists who best compliment his progressive sound, as well as those who have helped pave the way for Al up to this point. The first street joint, “Bangers”, features G-Unit’s very own Lloyd Banks, and is already getting heavy play on the radio and on mixtapes across the country. Other guests on the album include Cypress Hill, Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Dilated Peoples, D-Block's Jadakiss, Sheek and J-Hood, Devin the Dude, Nappy Roots, Shady/Aftermath’s new artist Stat Quo, the West Coast’s top prospect Game, and many others.
The Alchemist is also currently in the process of working as Executive Producer on the sophomore release by Dilated Peoples. If history serves us right, then this Alchemist is already taking the common take on hip-hop production and turning it into some of the most special creations heard in recent memory.