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The Alchemist performing in March 2014
|Daniel Alan Maman|
|Mudfoot, Alchemist, Pigpen|
October 25, 1977 |
Beverly Hills, California, United States
|Record producer, DJ, Rapper|
|The Whooliganz, Gangrene, Nas, Jadakiss, Styles P, Prodigy, Fashawn, Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Curren$y, Dilated Peoples, Domo Genesis, Durag Dynasty, Eminem, G-Unit, Mobb Deep, Evidence, Oh No, Roc Marciano, Willie the Kid, Westside Gunn, Joey Fatts, Mach-Hommy|
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. 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 Action Bronson. He produces for many artists, most of his recent production is for a close group of frequent collaborative rappers. He focuses on producing entire albums for rappers and Instrumental projects of his own.
Together with his long time collaborator Oh No (that together they form the group Gangrene), Woody Jackson and Tangerine Dream, he composed the official score to the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V.
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 helped promote Maman as a key part of their sound. 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 continued 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.
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, to no avail. 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 the tracks on the mixtape, as well as compiling the album in a mixtape fashion. On December 18, 2013, he was named the runner-up for producer of the year by HipHopDX.
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 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.
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.
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. on 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.
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.
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).
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
On September 10, 2014, Alchemist spontaneously wrote on Twitter that producer Samiyam and himself has 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.
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 clearances 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).
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.
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. The video was released on July 17. Gangrene revealed the album title to be "You Disgust Me". The album was first released on iTunes, on August 7, 2015, and then on physical copy a week or so later.
On November 18, Alchemist released a single on his SoundCloud, featuring Mac Miller and Migos, titled "Jabroni". Later he said on Twitter that it will be released on limited 45 vinyl single with an instrumental version, as part of a new single series, called Craft Singles. On February 11, Alchemist announced the dates of release of every one of the 4 Craft Singles Vinyls. The tracks were: "Hoover Street (Original Version)" by Schoolboy Q (March 11, 2016), "Any Means" and "Supply" by MC Eiht & Spice One (April 8), "Cobb" and "Palisades" by Blu (May 6) and "Jabroni" by Migos and Mac Miller (June 3). Some of those were already released online and Alchemist released the "Hoover Street Original Version" online on the same day of the announcements. On August 11, another song was released: "All for It" by Roc Marciano.
On January 13, 2016, The Alchemist and Curren$y announced their second collaboration on Twitter, entitled "The Carrollton Heist". The album was all recorded in one day, January 4, 2016 (Monday). Later, Curren$y announced a release date (and cover art) on his Instagram. The release date was set to February 14, 2016. This second collaboration of Alchemist and Curren$y was very long-awaited, since rumors of a Covert Coup sequel (their first collab) were floating online back in 2012 until Alchemist dismissed them in an interview. The album was, indeed released on February 14, On DatPiff. Later, Alchemist noticed that the version there was not the final mastered one, so he uploaded the full mastered version to his SoundCloud page.
On March 17, 2016, it was announced that Alchemist and Dutch rapper Kempi will be releasing an EP on April 2, 2016. The EP consists of 4 tracks and 4 instrumental versions of them. On March 25, 2016, a mini-documentary video was uploaded, showing the making of the EP.
On March 2, 2016, Havoc posted a photo on his Instagram stating that his next album is produced by Alchemist, and is coming soon. The title was revealed to be "The Silent Partner" and the first single, "Maintain", was released later. The album was released on May 20.
In December 2016, mixer Eddie Sancho revealed that he's mixing a joint project by Alchemist and rapper Jay Worthy. Much later, in April 2017, The Alchemist revealed the name and June 2 release date of the project, titled "Fantasy Island EP".
The Alchemist teased the sequel to The Good Book project (with producer Budgie) on his Instagram Story a couple of times. Then, on May 7, 2017, he surprisingly tweeted a link to pre-order the project and a first single, "Brother Jedediah", featuring Action Bronson and Big Body Bess. The project was released on July 21. Like the previous Good Book, it contains two parts (one by Alchemist and one by Busgie). Alchemist's part features lyrics from Mobb Deep, Westside Gunn, Conway, Royce da 5'9", Durag Dynasty, Action Bronson and more, as well as beats and some audio collages.
In September 2017, a Hip-Hop project was released by Red Bull France. The project consists of 8 tracks by rappers from Paris and Bruxelles (Belgium), with Alchemist helming the entire production of the project.
On September 8, 2017, Shady Records newly signed rapper Westside Gunn and rapper MF Doom announced that they will be joining forces for an album titled "WestsideDoom", entirely produced by Alchemist and Westside Gunn's long time collaborator Daringer. No more details were revealed yet.
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.
In an interview with Roc Marciano about his recording process, he mentioned that he and The Alchemist are working on a full-length album together. On a Reddit Q&A with Gangrene that took place on August 14, 2015, Alchemist said in an answer to a fan's question (about this project and a sequel to Covert Coup) that he can neither confirm nor deny this project. "I can neither confirm, nor deny that either of these projects exist. Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. I'm into the periodic chart. My favorite element is surprise".
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.
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").
Extended plays and other media