The Alchemist (musician)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
The Alchemist performing during March 2014
|Birth name||Daniel Alan Maman|
|Also known as||Mudfoot, Alchemist, Pigpen|
October 25, 1977 |
Beverly Hills, California, United States
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, rapper, DJ|
|Labels||Decon, Shady, ALC|
|Associated acts||The Whooliganz, Gangrene, Action Bronson, Curren$y, Dilated Peoples, Domo Genesis, Durag Dynasty, Eminem, Evidence, Oh No, Prodigy, Roc Marciano, Willie the Kid|
Daniel Alan Maman (born October 25, 1977), professionally known as The Alchemist (or simply Alchemist), is an American record producer, disc jockey (DJ) and rapper from Beverly Hills, California. He began his music career in 1991 in the hip hop duo The Whooliganz under the moniker Mudfoot, along with now-actor Scott Caan (whose moniker was "Mad Skillz"). After rising to prominence in the late 1990s, as a close associate of Dilated Peoples and Mobb Deep, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's leading artists in the 2000s, and has been hailed as one of the genre's leading producers. He is currently working as a DJ with Eminem, and is also signed to his label Shady Records, as an in-house producer.
As a teenager, Maman 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 Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town, Evidence and Scott Caan, son of James Caan. In 1991, a 14-year-old Maman and Scott Caan decided to become a duo named The Whooliganz. While rhyming at a party in L.A., they attracted the attention of B-Real of Cypress Hill. He invited the teens to join his crew, The Soul Assassins, which also included the groups House of Pain and Funkdoobiest. 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. Rejected, Scott focused his creative energy on acting while Al became interested in process of making hip-hop beats.
DJ Muggs took Al under his wing and taught him how to use a sampler and mixing board. 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, they were an underground sensation creating a huge buzz about the man behind the beats. Alchemist also produced several tracks on the debut album Focused Daily by Defari, another Dilated and Alkaholik affiliate. In 1999, Muggs introduced Al to his good friends, the popular hip-hop group Mobb Deep. Al produced two songs for their Murda Muzik album. Impressed by his production skills and street smarts, Mobb Deep took him under their wing, using his beats on all their subsequent albums. As 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. He has also remixed songs for bands and artists in other genres such as Linkin Park and Morcheeba. Al stayed loyal to his old friends, continuing to produce for Dilated, Cypress Hill and Crazy Town. He also enjoys producing for lesser-known underground rappers, often giving them some of his best beats.
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.
Ras Kass feud
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 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, but to no success. This prompted Ras to diss 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 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. In 2011, Ras Kass appeared (together with rapper Raekwon) on fellow rapper Evidence's album Cats & Dogs, on a song called "The Red Carpet", which was produced by The Alchemist.
The Alchemist is one of the music producers behind the 10th installment of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars released by Rockstar Games. He was also on Tim Westwood TV, when Eminem, Royce Da 5'9" and Mr. Porter freestyled. During an interview with Worldwide Conspiracy Radio, The Alchemist revealed he would be dropping a 2-part project with fellow west coast producer Oh No entitled Gangrene, the first to be released in July, the second in November, both on Decon. Alchemist was also the DJ for the Eminem set on the BBC1 chat-show Jonathan Ross on June 4, 2010.
Alchemist is Eminem's official DJ, since DJ Green Lantern departed from Shady Records in 2005 because of a dispute related to the feud of 50 Cent and Jadakiss. In 2006, Eminem released a collaboration album with Shady Records called Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. Since the Alchemist is his official DJ, he produced some of tracks on the mixtape, as well as compiling the album in a mixtape fashion. On March 6, 2011, he signed with Shady Records to become a producer on the label and worked with Shady artists Bad Meets Evil and Slaughterhouse. He has been asked to work along with Yelawolf for his second Shady album Love Story. On December 18, 2013, he was named the runner-up for producer of the year by HipHopDX.
- "Return of the Mac" (2007)
In 2007, the Alchemist and rapper Prodigy came together for a studio album titled Return of the Mac, that was released on March 27, 2007. The album was intended to be a mixtape serving as a prequel to Prodigy's next album, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2, but was released as a traditional album due to the unexpected level of quality of the record. The album features songs sampled from the Blaxploitation era.
Return of the Mac debuted at number thirty-two on the Billboard 200, selling 27,000 copies in its first week. As of December 2007, the album has sold 130,000 copies. The album received notable critical acclaim, and is considered somewhat of a return to form for Prodigy, as many considered him to have "fallen off" after the 2001 Mobb Deep release Infamy. Return of the Mac was supported by three singles with music videos: "Mac 10 Handle", "New York Shit", and "Stuck on You".
- "The Antidote" (2009)
- "Covert Coup" (2011)
The Alchemist and the rapper Curren$y came together for the mixtape Covert Coup, which was released April 20, 2011. The Alchemist produced the whole mixtape, and even released an instrumental version of it.
It was rumored that the pair were going to release a sequel to the mixtape, titled "Re-Conversationalize", which was to be released on April 20, 2012, exactly one year after the first project was released, but this did not happen. In fact it was proven by Alchemist (in an interview) that it was all rumors created and developed by the internet.
- "No Idols" (2012)
In August 2013, The Alchemist produced Odd Future member Domo Genesis' mixtape, No Idols. The mixtape was critically acclaimed upon release and featured guest appearances by Prodigy, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler The Creator, Action Bronson, Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, and SpaceGhostPurrp. It was later released on a limited edition vinyl.
- "Yacht Rock" (2012)
In October 2012, The Alchemist and 9Five Eyewear collaborated to a project with an Alchemist edition Sunglasses/Eyeglasses with a 12 minute vinyl with an execlusive mix produced by Alchemist, featuring Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Oh No, Big Twins, Chuck Inglish and Blu. It was limited for 400 Pieces worldwide. in October 31, 2012, The Alchemist released the project for a free download, in 9Five's website. Later it was released on a limited edition vinyl.
- "Rare Chandeliers"(2012)
A project titled Rare Chandeliers, a collaboration between Alchemist and Action Bronson, was released on November 15, 2012 as a mixtape. Later an extended version was released, also for free. The mixtape featured guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Styles P, and Sean Price, among others.
- "360 Waves" (2013)
The Alchemist collaborated with the group Durag Dynasty (which are Planet Asia, TriState and Killer Ben) that also appeared on his album Russian Roulette, for their debut album 360 Waves. He produced the entire album. The album was released on March 26, after a first video for the first half of the song "360 Waves" was released a day before. Later, a video for the second single "Fish Meat" (featuring Prodigy) was released (on July 29) and a video for the second half of the song was released too (on August 19).
- "Albert Einstein"(2013)
Prodigy's second album with the Alchemist, Albert Einstein, was released on June 11, 2013; it featured guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Domo Genesis, Havoc, Raekwon and Action Bronson. It debuted at number 175 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 3,000 copies in the United States. The following week it fell off the chart.
On February 25, 2014 an extension installment EP for Albert Einstein was released under the name "P=MC² – Deluxe Edition", that contains 4 extra songs, produced by Alchemist, of course.
- "Masterpiece Theatre EP"(2013)
The Alchemist produced the Willie the Kid EP "Masterpiece Theater EP", which was released for digital download on July 23, 2013. Two singles were released from the album: "Halal Tuna" and "Medusa".
- "My 1st Chemistry Set" (2013)
- "Diagnosis" (2013)
On October 24, 2013, Alchemist released an audio collage for a Coca-Cola and Dr. Romanelli collection of retro inspired clothing. Called "Diagnosis", he said that he was going to "Flip the script and give out a gift on his on birthday" (his birthday is on October 25). Inside the collage is a song featuring Action Bronson and producer Twiz The Beat Pro produced one of the beats.
On the album Chemical Warfare, there were two songs, named "Act of Violence" and "Under Siege", that were collaborations with rapper Oh No, under the collaboration name Gangrene. Since then the group has released two full projects together, Sawblade EP and the studio album Gutter Water. Following that later in 2011, Gangrene and rapper Roc Marciano released Greneberg EP on July 19, 2011. In January 2012 they released their second full-length LP, Vodka & Ayahuasca, and then in April 2012, Gangrene released a 4 track EP called Odditorium EP, for free download on Redbull USA's official site, and as a Picture disc.
- "Grand Theft Auto V Original Score" (2013)
- "Lord Steppington" (Step Brothers) (2014)
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. Talking about the album in 2010, 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." A release date for the album was scheduled for November 19, 2013, but later the release date was pushed to January 20, 2014. There is also an Instrumental version for the album, that was released on Vinyl.
- "The Good Book" (Gospel Project with Budgie) (2014)
In an interview for Dead End Hip-Hop, Alchemist stated that he had been working on a project related to gospel. Later, on March 2, 2014 he posted a teaser photo to that project, which will be a collaboration between 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, in March 5, They announced that the project is named "The Good Book", and released the first single "In Heaven's Home", feat. Roc Marciano and Prodigy. It will come in a well designed cover in a shape of a bible book, covered in leather, and will be limited to 1000. It will be released on March 11. The project will include mostly instrumentals and also some raps featuring Prodigy, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Blu, A$ton Mathews, Domo Genesis, Mick Luter, and J. Rocc. All Gospel samples.
- "British Knights – Which Ways The Beach Mix" (2014)
On September 10, 2014, Alchemist spontaneously wrote on Twitter that producer Samiyam and himself has a something to release with Dr. Romanelli (that Al previously did something for earlier, the Diagnosis mix with Coca-Cola). Later he published a new 8 minute mix of beats by himself and beats by Samiyam for the shoe brand British Knights. The mix has an Action Bronson verse (on an Alchemist beat) in it too.
- FASH-ionably Late (2014)
Completely by surprise, on December 8, 2014, Alchemist tweeted that he and rapper Fashawn are going to release an EP together soon, and gave a link to the first video/single from the album, "Dreams" (featuring Evidence). Fashawn tweeted that the reason for this EP is that sample clearences on his upcoming album, The Ecology, were taking too long, and he wanted the fans to have some music to listen too in the meanwhile. He also said that working with Alchemist is always a unique, special and different vibe and experience. The EP was set to contain 7 tracks, all produced by Alchemist and to be released on December 18, for Free. On the day of the release, a second video was released, for the song "Never Waiting In Vain" (last song on the EP).
- Welcome to Los Santos (Gangrene)
On March 6, 2015, a while after Rockstar Games announced the release of the PC GTA V, it was announced that Alchemist and Oh No (Gangrene) will have a new radio station in the game. In addition to that, a new song "Play It Cool" (feat. Earl Sweatshirt and Samuel Herring) was released. The song is a part from a new album of tracks inspired by GTA V named "Welcome to Los Santos" that was released on April 21, 2015. 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.
- Israeli Salad and Other Beat Tapes
In a short interview for Billboard in late 2012, Alchemist said that he plans on releasing an instrumental project with all Israeli samples. In the interview he described: "I'm not sure exactly how I'll do it, but it's more beats chopped up. I make the type of sh*t I like to listen to. That's pretty much the guideline". In June 25, 2014 in an interview for an Israeli radio station he also mentioned the project, saying it's coming soon, among a bunch of other instrumental Beat-Tapes that he made, and talked about the Israeli artist that made the cover for it. On March 27, Alchemist announced on Twitter that the Israeli samples project will be called "Israeli Salad" and revealed the cover art, and the release date: May 26, 2015.
- Gangrene 3
On Twitter, Oh No mentioned that a third project by Gangrene (the collaboration of Alchemist and Oh No) is in the making. Following the release of the Grand Theft Auto V score produced by Alchemist and Oh No, they revealed that their focus was now on a new Gangrene album. In an exclusive interview in the show "Jigga Juice" in an Israeli radio station (106.2FM) on June 25, 2014, The Alchemist said that the album is almost finalized. On November 7, 2014, Alchemist tweeted again about new Gangrene coming soon and then, Director Jason Goldwatch announced that they are making songs and videos (more specifically, "songs for videos, instead of the other way around"). On January 14, 2015, Goldwatch said that the editing of the first video, for a single named "Driving Gloves" is done, and the video is coming soon.
- TBT Mobb Deep and Alchemist album
On March 4, 2015, acclaimed rap duo Mobb Deep (Prodigy and Havoc) surprisingly announced a collaboration album with The Alchemist. They posted a tweet and also a picture that announces it too. No more details were revealed yet.
- Untitled project with Roc Marciano
In an interview with Roc Marciano about his recording process, he mentioned that The Alchemist and him are working on a full-length album together.
On July 13, 2005, the tour bus carrying Eminem's entourage (including rapper Stat Quo as well as Alchemist) swerved off the road and turned over. Alchemist was treated for broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
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The Alchemist utilizes a musical signature that he places towards the beginning (although not always) of many of the songs he produces. The signature is a distorted voice recording of rapper Prodigy saying "Alchemist" (in the distorted recording it sounds much like "A-A-A-A-A-Alchemist").
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- "Alchemist Interview on "Jigga Juice" on 106.2 FM (Israel)". Retrieved June 25, 2014.
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- Anger Management Tour Bus Crashes; Stat Quo, Eminem's DJ Among Those Injured | News | VH1.com
- "Alchemist & Budgie: The Good Book". Retrieved June 23, 2014.