Alchemist Reveals How Jadakiss, Ras Kass, Nas & Jay Z Tie Into One Hit (Audio)
With a new surprise instrumental album in stores (Israeli Salad), veteran bi-coastal producer Alchemist stays busy. The Gangrene/Step Brothers members is the debut guest on podcast, “A Waste Of Time,” created by It’s The Real’s Eric and Jeff Rosenthal.
The Beverly Hills, California native producer/DJ/MC discusses his love for food, and even how working in the studio with chef-turned-MC Action Bronson has its fringe benefits.
The longtime Shady Records affiliate spoke at length about Gangrene, his union with Oh No. In addition to two acclaimed albums, the Decon/Mass Appeal production duo is known for scoring the music for Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V, along side Tangerine Dream and Woody Jackson.
Even though it wasn’t a Gangrene project, Oh No The Disrupt and Alan The Chemist came together again and most recently to release the GTA inspired Welcome To Los Santos. Alchemist told the It’s Real Duo about how this creative mash-up of artists from different regions began. “After we scored the game, there was so much music left over.” He then said, “It started like that, and then it grew into more, because we didn’t want to limit it where it sounds like L.A., and just has L.A. artists.” Freddie Gibbs, Danny Brown, and Killer Mike are some of the non-Los Angeles artists who are included.
The next part the interview traces the lineage of the beat to Jadakiss’ 2001 club banger, “We Gonna Make It” from his solo debut Kiss Tha Game Goodbye. “I laid that beat for Nas,” reveals the producer, who was also called out by Ras Kass at the time, for selling the beat “twice.” The creator added, “That was when Nas was doing the QB’s Finest compilation album.” He reportedly also shopped the track to Jay Z, whose interest was reportedly hard to discern with nonchalance. Living in New York, the Mobb Deep affiliate would subsequently meet with Jada’ at a studio in Yonkers, New York in the early 2000s. After ‘Kiss went through numerous beats made by Alan, he finally stumbled upon the beat for the lead single, featuring fellow LOX member Styles P. Notably, The Alchemist didn’t partake in the engineering process of “We Gonna Make It.” Jadakiss, Ras Kass, Nas, and Jay Z are all tied into the Samuel Jonathan Johnson-sampling hit.
Jadakiss may have been the ideal platform though. Signed to Ruff Ryders/Interscope, the MC urged producers to heavily-charge for their work on the gold-certified Kiss The Game Goodbye. As Al’ remembers, ‘Kiss wanted them to “squeeze the budget out the label each time,” since the spending cost to make a rap record seemed to get more expensive as each era passed. Jadakiss would record two solo albums, and one LOX effort with the Interscope family.
From ALS ice-bucket challenges with Rick Rubin to other potential tracks with Jay, Alchemist covers a lot of ground with this hour.
Stream one of Al’s instrumentals, “Za’atar Smoke”: