Alchemist Tells B-Real About Just How Much His Time With Cypress Hill Shaped Him
B-Real can get some interviews on his Smokebox TV that go beyond typical taped conversations. Beyond the obvious reasons included in the title, “Dr. Greenthumb” asks great questions and seems engaged in wanting to understand his guests’ story. The Cypress Hill MC’s latest episode with Alchemist does not disappoint. In part one of their hotbox session, the Beverly Hills, California native described his come-up in the Rap game. After giving a nod to his good fortune, Al described how his beginnings in music flourished by being around some of Hip-Hop’s greats at the time.
“I think what it was too is we had this super training,” he said, recalling his group The Whooliganz. “A lot of people don’t know [this], but when we were 14 years old. We were hanging out – you, me, and Scott [Caan]. You guys, Cypress Hill, House Of Pain, being part of Soul Assassins was a big f*ckin’ deal, and that was the first time I ever got to see someone make a beat, the first time I got to see anyone with a drum machine. I remember T-Ray, you, [DJ] Muggs, [DJ] Lethal, [DJ] Ralph M, that’s where I first saw that you could even do this sh*t.”
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Alchemist also reminisces about going to Woodstock ’94 with the rest of Cypress Hill and Soul Assassins. He recalls B-Real throwing him the keys to his GMC Typhoon truck to go pick up Busta Rhymes at the airport. It was a memorable trip for the budding MC/producer.
Later on in the interview, Alchemist describes how a trip to a store with House Of Pain’s Lethal (who later was in Limp Bizkit) got him his first piece of producing equipment and ultimately shaped a lot of his style. “I remember Lethal took me to Guitar Center and I wanted to buy the [SP 1200] ’cause everyone had the SP 12,” he said. “And he was like, ‘Just buy this; this is a different thing.’ It looked like a keyboard. I didn’t play piano, but he was like, ‘Trust me, it does the same thing,’ and that’s kind of how I developed my style.”
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Finally, Alchemist is asked about how he linked with Mobb Deep. Many people associate the Gangrene and Stepbrothers member’s early days with M-O-B-B. Notably, it began with Cypress, who helped make the introduction. As Alchemist relocated from California to New York City for school, Muggs, who was working with the Mobb Deep at the time, that introduced them. Interestingly, vibing with IM3 really helped Al establish a good relationship with Prodigy and Havoc early on.
“I moved to New York, and I was going to school and Muggs at the time was doing those Soul Assassin albums, and he had hooked up with Mobb Deep,” he described. “[Music executive] Bigga B was so instrumental with Loud [Records], Muggs was working with him, and he helped connect Muggs with Mobb, so when I moved to New York, Muggs had met Infamous Mobb, which were Mobb Deep’s homies, and Muggs was like, ‘Yo, you gotta hook up with them ’cause you’re our little homies and that’s their little homies.’ So I hooked up with Infamous Mobb first.”
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Also during the interview segment, Alchemist remembered his first big outside production placement (Tequila Sunrise (Remix),” which featured Fat Joe, how a management connection originally linked him with Cypress Hill and producing for their III (Temples Of Boom) album.
Last year, Alchemist released Fetti with Freddie Gibbs and Curren$y. He also dropped Bread and Lunch Meat. Meanwhile, Cypress Hill released its first DJ Muggs fully produced album in 14 years, Elephants On Acid.