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This Thing of Ours

by The Alchemist

Released April 30, 2021 via ALC Records

Reviewed May 10, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Nobles (73%), TV Dinners (64%), Holy Hell (42%)

Adaptability and originality are perhaps the two most important characteristics for a producer in hip-hop today. Strip away the big-name sample clearances or the top-end gear and who would still stand as the most respected and skilled beatmaker left? The Alchemist has a very clear case for that title, and projects like This Thing of Ours are the consistent morsels that solidify his right to that throne. The beats are distinctly his as obscure—and perhaps even untouchable to the average producer—samples are expertly chopped to house some of the game’s young but elite lyricists. With six total artists featured across this four track EP, every song is perfectly laid out for each of the rappers’ different styles and sounds. All these tracks hit the nail exactly on the head per their guest performances and even when the tracks are stripped of Earl Sweatshirt or Boldy James and the listener is given just the instrumental, the universality of these beats is remarkable. Imagining ELUCID or billy woods on one track or replacing Pink $iifu and Maxo with Action Bronson and Mayhem Lauren is far from absurd; exemplifying the prime of The Alchemist’s career and how he simply can’t be stopped from permeating the hip-hop ethos with his unmatched ability. – Pax (8.8/10)

Led by Uncle Al, a group of familiar faces unite in a beautiful symphony, delivering a beautiful sampler that individually caters to each member of its cast. Each instrumental feels tailor-made, without a step outside subtle beauty; like a friend giving you a gift they’d know you’d love, without ever having to talk about it directly. Earl Sweatshirt & Navy Blue in tandem on “Nobles” is truly heartwarming, with their voices accentuating the instrumental’s elated expression. Not to mention, a performance from Maxo that steals the show. A voice that fully realizes the pain in his own writing, paired with The Alchemist’s hypnotic soundscape: Picture-esque. This group embodies contemporary hip-hop’s cosa nostra. Although everyone in the group isn’t present, and its members are scattered across the country, their collective energy is felt in unison. To be featured on Uncle Al’s production is a nod to the fact that you’re a part of a great family. It’s a collection of like-minded hearts, twin souls of another ilk. There will never be enough projects between these guys to encapsulate this thing of theirs. – Ben (Synth) (8/10)

The Alchemist's second project of 2021, This Thing of Ours, shows the producer’s knack for creating space in which a vast amount of artistic freedom can air itself out. No other producer has as solid a track record over the last few years as The Alchemist; he is the go-to guy for consistently great soundtracks. He fits into peoples’ visions like a glove, and vice versa. The instrumentals that he cooks up are open to interpretation, making his sound flexible and constantly in-demand. Smooth, soothing instrumentals that are cool as a light breeze lay the foundations for the words of six talented MC's—Earl Sweatshirt, Pink Siifu, Boldy James, Sideshow, Navy Blue and Maxo—and their cadence to dissolve into the mind's eye. Sit back, relax, put on your thinking caps and let the lounge-like vibes wash over your psyche. Vivid, vibrant pictures are painted over the course of four tracks, making This Thing of Ours an incredibly rewarding short project. At just ten minutes in length, not including the lone instrumentals, you just can't go wrong. – Peter (7.5/10)

Pax: 8.8/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8.3/10 | Ben (Synth): 8/10

Cam: 8/10 | Jared: 8/10 | Alan: 7.8/10 | Peter: 7.5/10 | Hadley: 7/10


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