Prodigy & Alchemist Albert Einstein

Prodigy & AlchemistAlbert Einstein
There are a couple of guys in hip-hop you just don't knock; Alchemist is one of them. Even the most ignorant of rap fans keep their mouths shut when it comes to the Chemist. The Cali producer has made beats relentlessly since the early '90s, inspired largely by the innovation and integrity of early mentor DJ Muggs. Albert Einstein (a collaboration with Long Island's Prodigy) fits seamlessly into his ever-expanding catalogue, but doesn't necessarily stand out. Like many NYC MCs, Prodigy is a master of talking slick, delivering gruff street tales as if he was on the corner jiving with his homies. He's casual, not always sincere, but dangerously convincing; his bars haven't faltered since his early Mobb Deep days and Einstein is no exception. On "Dough Pildin," one of two singles, Prodigy demonstrates his rap supremacy, parading rhymes of cash, plaques and jewels over what sounds like a leftover from Alchemist's Russian Roulette sessions. Tracks like "Breeze" are more interesting, with plush, jazzy sounds and samples complementing Prodigy's unflinching braggadocio. One of the cleverest lyrics comes on the hook to "Confessions," a hyper-violent murder narrative: "there's six million ways to die, I'll choose for you," spits Prodigy. As far as guests, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Domo Genesis, Raekwon and Havoc contribute, while Alchemist spits a verse himself on "Bible Paper." Technically flawless, but focused to a fault, Albert Einstein is further proof that Alchemist could benefit from a mistake. (Sony)