Alchemist and Evidence - Lord Steppington (Review)

"Lord Steppington" is a collaboration album between Dilated Peoples emcee Evidence and my favorite producer of 2013, The Alchemist. The album features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Styles P, Domo Genesis, Rakaa Iriscience and others and is fully produced by Evidence and Alchemist themselves, with Al handling all but one of the tracks. It was released on January 21, 2014 via Rhymesayers Entertainment.

1) More Wins - The first song on the album features a soulful vocal loop layered over head nodding boom-bap drums with some scratching that comes in every now and then. The beat is banging and both Evidence and Alchemist rip it, kicking some boastful rhymes about their skills and such. This shit is fire and is a great way to kick off the album. Hopefully the rest of the LP is just as strong.

2) Dr. Kimble - The beat on this song is slightly more ominous than the first, with some foreboding strings and synths layered over hard, gritty drums. As on the previous song, the beat on here is banging and both emcees sound great over it, kicking some rhymes full of witty punchlines and general shit talking. It's crazy how different both of these guys sound now compared to when they first started rapping. Alchemist's lyrics and mic presence have improved nicely over the past few years and Evidence has changed up his voice and flow so much that he barely sounds like he did back in the early 00's. Anyways, this shit is fire.

3) Byron G (featuring Domo Genesis and The Whooliganz) - This is the only track on the album that is produced by Evidence himself and its quite ill. The song starts off with a quick Kanye speech before the beat actually kicks in, featuring a hard ass backing sample blended with the occasional vocal loop over stomping drums. The beat is fire and all four emcees come correct over it, even Scott Caan who really surprised me with his verse. Dope shit. Who the hell is Bryon G though?

4) Legendary Mesh - Alan the Chemist comes through with another crazy instrumental that centers around various layers of keyboards and other noises that weave in and out over the hard hitting drums. The beat also has the occasional electric guitar and vocal sample thrown in just to add even more depth to the instrumental. Lyrically the song is just as dope as the beat, with both emcees kicking some more humorously braggadocios bars about how ill they are. Very nice.

5) No Hesitation (featuring Styles P) - This song features another dope ass instrumental with some beautiful strings layered over gritty, head nodding drums. The beat is banging and everyone rips it, rapping about how they "never hesitate" when put on the line and when it comes to making dope music. Al and Styles P really need to make a full length album together since everything they collaborate on is fire. This shit is hard as hell. Very ill.

6) Swimteam Rastas - And this is even better. This song is broken up into three instrumentals and all three of them are bangers. The first beat is pretty dark and sounds like it was taken straight out of some old school action movie, with fire trucks and sirens blended into the instrumental to give it a hectic feel. The second beat features some strings and hi-pitched synths that come together to form one of my favorite beats on the album thus far. Just when you think it can't get any better, the instrumental switches up yet again to another ill instrumental that is just as good as the others, with more strings and synths but in a different arrangement. Lyrically the song is just as good as the others as well, with both emcees just ripping the beats and changing up their flows to keep in tune with the changing instrumentals. This shit is fire and is one of my favorite songs on the album.

7) Mums In The Garage (featuring Action Bronson) - This was one of the songs released in promotion of the album and its dope. The instrumental is crazy, with some resonant synths and head nodding drums that give it a real unorthodox feel. Action Bronson sets it off nicely with the first verse before Ev and Al come in to close out the song, with all three emcees kicking some more of their usual humorous rhymes. Dope shit.

8) See The Rich Man Play (featuring Roc Marciano) - Roc Marciano teams up with the Step Brothers to come with a concept track about being down on your luck in a casino somewhere. The beat keeps with the theme as well, featuring an ill vocal loop and very minimal drums. Does anyone know where that sample came from? Shit's dope. Anyways, not much more to say about this one other than that its fire. Another ill track.

9) Banging Sound (featuring Fashawn) - This song has a really odd instrumental with a chopped up vocal loop, hard ass drums, quirky synths and the occasional soul sample. The beat has a ton going on with it and I've heard some other people say they hate it, but I'm actually feelin' it. Its different, but it works in my opinion. Lyrically the song is really dope as well, with Evidence setting it off, Fashawn coming with the strongest verse and then Alchemist closing it out nicely. This ones weird, but I'm diggin' it. Dope.

10) Step Masters - This was the first single released in promotion of the album and its banging. The song has a dope, old school vibe to it that I'm really feelin' while the hard-hitting bass gets me hype at the same time. Evidence and Alchemist come through and just body the beat, showing more amazing chemistry together on the mic. It's surprising that they haven't come out with a collabo album before this one, having worked together for well over a decade. Anyways, this shit is fire.

11) Tomorrow (featuring Rakaa and Blu) - Evidence and Alchemist share the mic with fellow Dilated Peoples member Rakaa Iriscience as well as Los Angeles emcee Blu to deliver yet another ill track. The beat is dope, with a light vocal loop and prominent synths blended with soft keys and ill percussion, and all four emcees do their thing, kicking some more rhymes about how they are masters at this rap shit (among other things). Very dope.

12) Draw Something (featuring Oh No) - The beat on this song has a somewhat desolate feel, with a bleak sample, low-key strings and minimal drums, but the shit is crazy dope. Evidence teamed up with Rakaa on the previous track, so its only right for Alchemist to team up with fellow Gangrene member Oh No on here. As expected, all three emcees come correct, incorporating art metaphors and imagery into their rhymes. Very nice.

13) Buzzing Away - This is the obligatory weed track and its a banger. The instrumental is full of bouncy pianos, soft keyboards, tambourines and a vocal sample that is scratched up during the chorus. The topic is somewhat cliche, but the rhymes are pretty funny and the beat is quite ill. Very nice.

14) Just Step - The final song on the album was actually released a few years back and its just as dope now as it was then. The beat sounds like it has a ton of layers to it, with different samples coming in all over the place. The drums are hard, the beat is ill and both emcees rip it, kicking some more witty rhymes about what the Step Brothers are actually all about. Very dope way to close out the album.

I'm going to rate the album

4.5 / 5

because is absolute fire. The beats are banging throughout the entire album, with each one having its own unique sound in the overall scope of the project. There's a little bit of everything on here, from soulful loops and old school boom-bap bangers to more experimental instrumentals. Thankfully Evidence and Alchemist's rhymes are just as strong as the beats, with both emcees displaying a wittiness and humor that is pretty much a standard in their rhymes. Both of them have stepped up their lyrics and flows in the past few years and it definitely shows on this album. While they never really step out of their comfort zone on the LP, it doesn't really matter since each track has enough punchlines and one-liners to make you want to rewind the verse to see what you missed the first time through. You can tell they had a great time recording this and were just spitting about whatever came into their head at the time. Couple that with some of the best beats I've heard in quite a while and you have a banger.


Post a Comment