The Alchemist delivers two stellar albums in “This Thing of Ours” and “This Thing of Ours 2”


The Alchemist continues to release classic beats paired with stellar guest performances in This Thing of Ours and This Thing of Ours 2.

The Alchemist has been making timeless music with some of the biggest names in hip-hop since the 90s. Throughout his decades-long career, he has proved that he is able to morph his music to fit with a vast variety of collaborators, all while retaining his classic, old-school and dirty style. The Alchemist is the most prolific and consistent producer in the rap game right now, and he has exceeded all expectations once again.

Coming fresh off a year complete with masterpiece rap albums like “Haram” with Armand Hammer, and the Grammy Award-nominated “Alfredo” with Freddy Gibbs, The Alchemist has once again delivered with a set of two stellar short extended plays (EPs). “This Thing of Ours” was released on Apr. 30 and “This Thing of Ours 2,” followed it up on Oct. 8. They both bring a concise mix of classic, atmospheric and looping Alchemist instrumentals with stellar lyrical performances from featured artists like Earl Sweatshirt, Boldly James, Danny Brown and Vince Staples. However, the two albums vary significantly in the emotions their intensely palpable atmospheres convey.

The album cover of “This Thing of Ours” depicts a busy street at midday. That, along with its more high-register beats, relaxed flows and seamless vocal sample transitions deliver a comfortable feeling of home.

The project opens with “Nobles,” a track that features rappers Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue trading bars over a bright beat with repeating trumpet hits and full bass. The nostalgic track serves as a rather upbeat opener, complete with shimmering bells and children’s vocal samples.

“Loose Change” is a classic Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt collaboration which serves as a standout even on a project without a weak link. It delivers more iconic Alchemist horn and vocal samples paired perfectly with Sweatshirt’s cathartic vocal performance.

The second EP shows a different side of The Alchemist’s art. “This Thing of Ours 2” follows up the moment of sunshine on his last project with a fall back down to Earth. This darker, lonelier portrait is delivered through dissonant, bass-heavy beats and bleak vocal performances, matching its album cover which shows a lone figure in a pitch black night.

“Lossless” sets the tone for the rest of “This Thing of Ours 2,” as the jazzy and out-of-tune vocal sample, menacing horn loop and heavy boom-bap drums pair with MIKE’s relentless flow to deliver a darkly powerful track.

The next song, “Flying Spirit,” follows up with a strange vocal sample, a low repetitive melody and almost nonexistent drums that allow the Bruiser Brigade’s nasty flows to carry the rhythm. Danny Brown changes up his typical off-the-wall style and opts for a more understated flow, and he is followed up by even more unrelenting bars from three fellow Bruiser Brigade members.

“This Thing of Ours 2” ends with a track which somehow encapsulates the moods of both albums. “6 Five Heartbeats” delivers a melancholy beat with sorrowful piano chords, a bustling baseline and a lonely, sad, but beautifully nostalgic lyrical performance from Vince Staples.

“This Thing of Ours” and “This Thing of Ours 2” both deliver consistent, emotional and atmospheric Alchemist beats and perfectly crafted transitions, along with an ensemble of amazing lyrical performances. The stark contrast in mood between the two showcases The Alchemist’s artistic range, and it gives a vivid image of the dichotomy of the human experience: the hopeful and upbeat day exists only when followed by the lonely, dark night.