The Alchemist (musician)

Alan Daniel Maman (born October 25, 1977), professionally known as the Alchemist, is an American hip hop producer, DJ, rapper, and entrepreneur.[3] He began his music career in 1991 in the hip hop duo the Whooliganz under the moniker Mudfoot, along with now-actor Scott Caan. He has produced music since the 1990s.

The Alchemist
The Alchemist performing in 2014
The Alchemist performing in 2014
Background information
Birth nameAlan Daniel Maman[1]
Also known as
  • Alchemist
  • Uncle Al
  • Mudfoot
Born (1977-10-25) October 25, 1977 (age 46)[2]
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • DJ
  • rapper
  • songwriter
DiscographyThe Alchemist production discography
Years active1991–present
Labels
Member of
Websitealcrecords.com

Together with collaborators Oh No (with whom he forms the group Gangrene), Woody Jackson and Tangerine Dream he composed the official score to the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V and hosts the radio station "The Lab" in it.

Career

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1991–2003: Early career, the Whooliganz and Soul Assassins

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The Alchemist hails from Beverly Hills, California. As a teenager, he began to identify strongly with the rebellious lyrics and urban sounds of hip hop, and he began writing his own lyrics. He joined up with other like-minded artists who wrote lyrics and rebelled against their suburban surroundings. These included Evidence and Scott Caan, son of James Caan.[3]

In 1991, a 14-year-old Maman and Scott Caan decided to become a duo named the Whooliganz.[3][4] While rhyming at a party in Los Angeles, they attracted the attention of B-Real of Cypress Hill. He invited the teens to join his crew, Soul Assassins, which also included the groups House of Pain and Funkdoobiest.[3]

In 1993, the Whooliganz released their first single, "Put Your Handz Up". The song received little radio airplay and their record label, Tommy Boy Records, decided to shelve their album.[3] Rejected, Scott focused his creative energy on acting while Al became interested in the process of making hip hop beats.

DJ Muggs took Al under his wing and taught him how to use a sampler and mixing board.[3] After helping to produce a few tracks for Cypress Hill, Al became the main producer for his childhood friend Evidence and his group Dilated Peoples.

When Dilated Peoples debuted in 1998, it helped promote Maman as a key part of its sound. The Alchemist also produced several tracks on Defari's debut album Focused Daily, another Dilated Peoples and tha Alkaholiks affiliate. In 1999, Muggs introduced Al to his good friends the popular hip hop group Mobb Deep. Al produced two songs for its Murda Muzik album.[3] Impressed by his production skills and street smarts, Mobb Deep continued using his beats on all of the group's subsequent albums. As the Alchemist's profile increased, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's most successful and prominent artists, such as Nas, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Ghostface Killah, and Snoop Dogg.[3] He has also remixed songs for bands and artists in other genres such as Linkin Park and Morcheeba.[3]

In 1999, the Alchemist was set to produce three tracks for American rapper Ras Kass' then-upcoming album Van Gogh, which was scheduled for a late 2000 release at the time. One of the said tracks was "Home Sweet Home", which was to be the lead single for Ras Kass' album. After the Alchemist received the first half of the payment for the beat, he said Ras Kass' record label Priority was ignoring him. They later met up in August, at the Source Awards in Pasadena, California, where the Alchemist informed Kass that he'd been showcasing the beat to other artists. Jadakiss would then go on to record "We Gonna Make It" over the same beat, on his 2001 release, Kiss tha Game Goodbye. When Ras Kass took notice, he attempted to stop the release by releasing his version of the song on mixtapes, to no avail.[5] This prompted Ras to diss the Alchemist in freestyles and on a track from Van Gogh. Eventually, the beef ended so he could concentrate on his legal problems but still cited a loss of respect for the producer. In an interview with www.hiphopgame.com, Ras admitted that he was being stubborn and refused to listen to what the Alchemist was trying to tell him. The two have since squashed the beef and the Alchemist produced the song "Past, Future and Present" and did the intro for the song that appeared on the 2006 mixtape Revenge of the Spit.

2004–2008: 1st Infantry and Shady Records

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In 2004, six years after his rapping career folded, the Alchemist put out his debut album, 1st Infantry. The album yielded the single "Hold You Down", featuring Prodigy, Illa Ghee and Nina Sky, which hit number ninety-five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005.

Since DJ Green Lantern departed from Shady Records in 2005 because of a dispute related to the feud of 50 Cent and Jadakiss, the Alchemist is Eminem's official DJ.

On July 13, 2005, the tour bus carrying Eminem's entourage, including rapper Stat Quo as well as the Alchemist, swerved off the road and turned over. The Alchemist was treated for broken ribs and a collapsed lung.[6]

In 2006, Eminem released a collaboration album with Shady Records called Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. The Alchemist produced some of the tracks on the mixtape, as well as compiling the album in a mixtape fashion.

In 2007, the Alchemist and Prodigy came together for a studio album titled Return of the Mac, that was released on March 27, 2007. It debuted at number thirty-two on the Billboard 200, selling 27,000 copies in its first week.[7] As of December 2007, the album has sold 130,000 copies.[8]

2009–2011: Chemical Warfare and Gangrene

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Gangrene performing in March 2014

The Alchemist is one of the music producers behind the video game Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars released by Rockstar Games in 2009.

On July 7, 2009, the Alchemist released his second studio album, Chemical Warfare. It contains two tracks by Gangrene, the group consisting of the Alchemist himself and Oh No. Since then, they released three studio albums and, along with Tangerine Dream and Woody Jackson, contributed music for the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V.[9]

In 2009, the Alchemist produced an entire mixtape with rapper Fashawn, called The Antidote.[10]

2012–2014: Russian Roulette and Step Brothers

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On July 17, 2012, the Alchemist released his third studio album, Russian Roulette.

In August 2012, he produced Odd Future member Domo Genesis mixtape, No Idols. It was later released on a limited edition vinyl.[11]

Rare Chandeliers, a collaboration mixtape with Action Bronson, was released on November 15, 2012.[12]

Prodigy's second album with the Alchemist, Albert Einstein, was released on June 11, 2013.[13] It debuted at number 175 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 3,000 copies in the United States.[14]

In 2012, Boldy James signed a record deal with Decon for the Alchemist produced album;[15] My 1st Chemistry Set was released on October 15, 2013.[16]

On December 18, 2013, the Alchemist was named the runner-up for Producer of the Year by HipHopDX.[17]

Since 2008, the Alchemist and fellow rapper Evidence have performed as the duo Step Brothers. Their debut album was announced to be titled Lord Steppington and released on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label.[18] Talking about the album in 2010, the Alchemist said, "I wanna create a sound for it. I don't want Step Brothers songs to sound like it could've been a Dilated Peoples song, or an Evidence song, that I'd rap on."[19] A release date for the album was scheduled for November 19, 2013, but later the release date was pushed to January 20, 2014.[20]

In an interview for Dead End Hip-Hop, the Alchemist stated that he had been working on a project related to the gospel. Later, on March 2, 2014, he posted a teaser photo to The Good Book, which will be a collaboration between the Alchemist and producer Budgie, and also retweeted a tweet from Frank the Butcher, the founder of BAU, which the project is going to be released on, announcing the project and saying that more information will be released two days after.

Later, on March 5, they announced that the project is named The Good Book, and released the first single "In Heaven's Home", featuring Roc Marciano and Prodigy. It comes in a well-designed cover in a shape of a bible book, covered in leather, and will be limited to one thousand. It released on March 11. The project includes mostly instrumentals and also some raps featuring Prodigy, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Domo Genesis and Blu.

2015–present: Craft Singles and collaborative albums

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On March 6, 2015, a while after Rockstar Games announced the release of the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, it was announced that the Alchemist and Oh No would have a new radio station called The Lab in the game. In addition to that, a new song "Play It Cool", featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Samuel Herring, was released. The song is apart from a new album of tracks inspired by GTA V named Welcome to Los Santos that was released on April 21, 2015.[21] The album is a compilation album of new songs from a wide range of artists. The Alchemist and Oh No were involved in the production of the songs, and the album was released for the release of the PC version of the game.

On November 18, the Alchemist released a single on his SoundCloud, featuring Mac Miller and Migos, titled "Jabroni". Later he said on Twitter that it would be released on limited 45 vinyl single with an instrumental version, as part of a new single series, called Craft Singles. On February 11, the Alchemist announced the dates of release of every one of the four Craft Singles vinyls. The tracks were: "Hoover Street (Original Version)" by Schoolboy Q (March 11, 2016), "Any Means" and "Supply" by MC Eiht and Spice One (April 8), "Cobb" and "Palisades" by Blu (May 6) and "Jabroni" (June 3). Some of those were already released online and the Alchemist released the "Hoover Street (Original Version)" online on the same day of the announcements. On August 11, another song was released: "All for It" by Roc Marciano.

On January 13, 2016, the Alchemist and Curren$y announced their second collaboration, titled The Carrollton Heist. The mixtape was all recorded in one day, January 4, 2016.[22][23] Later, Curren$y announced a release date and cover art on his Instagram.[24] The release date was set to February 14, 2016. This second collaboration of the Alchemist and Curren$y was very long-awaited since rumors of a Covert Coup sequel were floating online back in 2012 until the Alchemist dismissed them in an interview. The mixtape was, indeed released on February 14, on DatPiff. Later, the Alchemist noticed that the version there was not the final mastered one, so he uploaded the full mastered version to his SoundCloud page.

On March 2, 2016, Havoc posted a photo on his Instagram stating that his next album is produced by the Alchemist, and is coming soon.[25] The title was revealed to be The Silent Partner and the first single, "Maintain", was released later. The album was released on May 20.

In December 2016, mixer Eddie Sancho revealed that he was mixing a joint project by the Alchemist and rapper Jay Worthy. Much later, in April 2017, the Alchemist revealed the name and June 2 release date of the project, titled Fantasy Island EP.[26]

The Alchemist teased the sequel to The Good Book project with producer Budgie on his Instagram Story a couple of times. Then, on May 7, 2017, he surprisingly tweeted a link to pre-order the project and a first single, "Brother Jedediah", featuring Action Bronson and Big Body Bess. The project was released on July 21. Like the previous Good Book, it contains two parts, one by the Alchemist and one by Budgie. The Alchemist's part features lyrics from Mobb Deep, Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, Royce da 5'9", Action Bronson and more, as well as beats and some audio collages.

Fetti, a collaboration EP with Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs, was first announced on January 4, 2017, through an Instagram post by Curren$y.[27]

On September 21, 2018, nearly two years later, Curren$y announced on Instagram that he had completed his half of the project. In the post, Curren$y is recorded saying, "This message is to one Fredrick Gibbs. My half of Fetti is done. All produced by Alchemist."[28] Gibbs would publicly respond to the post shortly after, commenting "N***a. Send It. I'm by the booth."[29] On October 25, the tracklist and release date were posted by Gibbs on Instagram.[30] In an interview with the Grinds TV, Gibbs stated that his half of the EP took two days to complete.[31]

In November 2019, the Alchemist and Action Bronson announced that a new special edition vinyl of Rare Chandeliers is coming soon, along with a brand new collaboration EP, Lamb Over Rice. The EP was released on November 22 and it contains seven tracks. Five of them are brand new, but it also contains two previously released singles: "Descendant to the Stars", that was released on 2016 for Action Bronson's Antient Aliens show, and "Just the Way It Is" that was a part of the Alchemist's Coca-Cola mix "Diagnosis" from 2013, sampling a Coca-Cola commercial.

Lulu, a collaboration EP with Conway the Machine, was released on March 30, 2020.[32]

On May 27, 2020, Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist announced the release of new music via social media, before confirming the collaborative project named Alfredo shortly after.[33][34] The announcement came alongside the option for pre-ordering the album in digital and physical format, including a comic book stylized based on the album.[35]

On October 3, 2020, the Alchemist released A Doctor, Painter & An Alchemist Walk Into a Bar, a collaborative project with DRx Romanelli and Spencer Lewis.[36]

On August 25, 2023, Voir Dire, a collaborative project with Earl Sweatshirt, was released for free on the Gala Music website.[37]

On May 5, 2024, the Alchemist produced "Meet the Grahams", a diss track by Kendrick Lamar towards Drake as part of their ongoing feud.

Personal life

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The Alchemist is Jewish, and was named as one of the 10 most influential Jews in rap over the last 50 years.[38]

Discography

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Studio albums

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Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[39]
US
R&B/HH

[40]
US
Rap

[41]
US
Ind.

[42]
1st Infantry
  • Released: September 21, 2004
  • Label: eOne
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
101 11 6 8
Return of the Mac
(with Prodigy)
  • Released: March 27, 2007
  • Label: eOne
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
32 9 5 2
Chemical Warfare
  • Released: July 7, 2009
  • Label: ALC, eOne
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
63 13 4 6
Russian Roulette
  • Released: July 17, 2012
  • Label: ALC, Decon, RED
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
65
360 Waves
(with Durag Dynasty)
  • Released: March 26, 2013
  • Label: Nature Sounds
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
Albert Einstein
(with Prodigy)
  • Released: June 11, 2013
  • Label: Infamous
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
175 19 13 33
The Silent Partner
(with Havoc)
  • Released: March 8, 2016
  • Label: Babygrande
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
27 17 36
Alfredo
(with Freddie Gibbs)
  • Released: May 29, 2020
  • Label: ALC, ESGN, Empire
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
15 12 11 3
Haram
(with Armand Hammer)
  • Released: March 26, 2021
  • Label: Backwoodz Studioz
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
Continuance
(with Curren$y)
  • Released: February 18, 2022
  • Label: ALC, Jet Life, Empire
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
200 28
The Elephant Man's Bones
(with Roc Marciano)
  • Released: August 26, 2022
  • Label: ALC, Marci Enterprises, Empire
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
The Great Escape
(with Larry June)
  • Released: March 31, 2023
  • Label: ALC, The Freeminded, Empire
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
32 12 9 4
Voir Dire
(with Earl Sweatshirt)
  • Released: August 25, 2023
  • Label: ALC, Tan Cressida, Warner
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
Black & Whites
(with Hit-Boy and Big Hit)
  • Released: May 30, 2024
  • Label: ALC, Surf Club
  • Format: digital download, streaming
Don't Call Me a Legend[43]
  • To be released: TBA
  • Label: ALC
  • Format: digital download, streaming

References

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  1. ^ Mächler, Ben (November 5, 2008). "Different Worlds – The Alchemist im Interview". Splash! Mag (in German). Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  2. ^ Twitter posts from October 23, 2014 and October 25, 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brown, Marisa "The Alchemist Biography", Allmusic
  4. ^ "The Alchemist". Myspace. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Alchemist Responds To Claims Of Double Dealing". MTV News. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "Anger Management Tour Bus Crashes; Stat Quo, Eminem's DJ Among Those Injured - News - VH1.com". vh1.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Katie Hasty, "McGraw Leads Seven Top 10 Debuts Onto Billboard 200", Billboard.com, April 4, 2007.
  8. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (December 30, 2007). The Shrinking Market Is Changing the Face of Hip-Hop. The New York Times. Accessed May 21, 2008.
  9. ^ Kaz (August 29, 2013). "Rockstar Games Reveal Details On GTA V Soundtrack". Stashed. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  10. ^ Paine, Jake (September 10, 2009). "Free Download: The Antidote By Fashawn & Alchemist | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "Domo Genesis & Alchemist – No Idols – reviews, producers, buy". Ughh.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  12. ^ "Download 'Rare Chandeliers,' Action Bronson's New Mixtape | NOISEY". Noisey.vice.com. November 15, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Paine, Jake (June 11, 2013). "Prodigy & Alchemist "Albert Einstein" Cover Art, Tracklist & Album Stream | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  14. ^ Paine, Jake (June 19, 2013). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/16/2013". HipHop DX. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Jake Crates (June 4, 2012). "Exclusive: Boldy James [BGA] Signs Decon Deal For Alchemist Produced Album". AllHipHop.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  16. ^ James, Bouldy. "My 1st Chemistry Set". Amazon. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  17. ^ "The 2013 HipHopDX Year End Awards | Discussing Lil' Wayne, Drake & Many More Hip Hop Artists". HipHop DX. December 18, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  18. ^ "Step Brothers – Lord Steppington – 2013". YouTube. January 1, 2013. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts". Conspiracyworldwide.podomatic.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  20. ^ Ryon, Sean (October 31, 2013). "Step Brothers "Lord Steppington" Release Date, Cover Art & Tracklisting | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  21. ^ Kia Makarechi (March 6, 2015). "Future Islands, Earl Sweatshirt, The Alchemist and Oh No Team for "Play It Cool"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "Spitta on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  23. ^ "Alchemist on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "Curren$y & Alchemist's 'The Carrollton Heist' Has A Release Date!". 2DOPEBOYZ. January 29, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Instagram". Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  26. ^ "Jay Worthy and Alchemist Share Release Date for 'Fantasy Island' EP". XXL Mag. April 25, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  27. ^ "@spitta_andretti on Instagram: "Called my homie Gibbs and told him it's time lets put the EP together... Homie hit the slopes and sent me this hahaha clearly its a green…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "@spitta_andretti on Instagram: "So..... like..... yeah."". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  29. ^ "Curren$y & Freddie Gibbs Update 'Fetti' Project — with Alchemist (!!)". 2DOPEBOYZ. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  30. ^ "Freddie Gibbs and Currensy's 'Fetti' Album Tracklist Revealed - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  31. ^ "Freddie Gibbs and Curren$y to share collaborative project on Halloween". The FADER. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  32. ^ "Conway the Machine & Alchemist Interview: Artists Talk 'Lulu'". Billboard. March 30, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  33. ^ Eustice, Kyle (May 28, 2020). "Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist Drop Surprise 'Alfredo' Album Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  34. ^ Breihan, Tom (May 28, 2020). "Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist Announce Surprise Album 'Alfredo', Share First Single "1985": Listen". Stereogum. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  35. ^ Johnson, Patrick (May 28, 2020). "Freddie Gibbs, The Alchemist 'Alfredo' Comic Book". Hypebeast. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  36. ^ "The Alchemist Links With DRx Romanelli and Spencer Lewis for 'A Doctor, A Painter & An Alchemist' Album Installation". HYPEBEAST. September 29, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  37. ^ "Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist Drop 'Voir Dire' as an NFT". Hypebeast. August 25, 2023. Retrieved August 25, 2023.
  38. ^ Esenstein, Andrew (August 11, 2023). "The 10 most influential Jewish rappers of the past 50 years. He grew up in Beverly Hills, CA". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved August 13, 2023.
  39. ^ "The Alchemist Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  40. ^ "The Alchemist Chart History: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "The Alchemist Chart History: Top Rap Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  42. ^ "The Alchemist Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  43. ^ "The Alchemist - European Vacation. Episode 3: London". YouTube.
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