The Alchemist is entrenched on the short list of producers that have the true grit engrained in their DNA. You hear their music and your face frowns and totally normal people get the urge to body something. Luckily, his songs only last four minutes. His heavily 70’s sample-laden style pulls drama and urgency from the music. That feel runs rampant on Raekwon assisted Gangrene track, “Gutter Water.”
There is digital sci-fi noise that recalls rockets blasting off into space. There is punctuating brass and a brash drum aligned with low end organ keys. There are drama inducing strings that run the length of the construction and well-timed sound effects like phones ringing, vocal samples and horror laughter and explosions that add to the overall narratives. Low cymbals clash occasionally completing the aural backdrop and continuing the work that the Alchemist has laid on works like Prodigy’s Return of the Mack.
Gangrene consists of two producers who dabble in rhyme, Alchemist and Oh No, brother of artist Madlib. It gets no grittier than gutter water and Gangrene sets to prove that they are that nasty with it. Their skills aren’t too impressive, but Oh No’s vocal tone is menacing and he gets his point across. There are no tricky verbal acrobatics to his flow and for a beat with this many moving parts, that cuteness isn’t necessary. The Alchemist isn’t as strong vocally, but he isn’t laughable. Their deficiencies as rappers are put on Front Street next to Raekwon the Chef. He handles the beat with a smooth, icy flow and a street soldier’s precision; bending words to his will and creating his usual grim visage.
The song is greater than the sum of its parts and while Gangrene is lyrically lacking, the mood of the music and Raekwon’s street surgery bring up the overall level.
Gangrene Feat. Raekwon-Gutter Water
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