The Alchemist has spent this decade amassing a deep catalogue of soul-sample street rap noir in the vein of his grayscale turn-of-the-century rise with Mobb Deep, and his latest Bread EP, released today, extends the legacy. Here the producer casts hard-nosed Buffalo, NY upstarts Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine, established underground veterans Roc Marciano and Black Thought, and the insular Earl Sweatshirt in a four-part play that moves from cartoon violence and glamour to bloody paranoia to haunted afterthoughts, delivered in nimble circles of internal rhymes.
It’s perhaps best enjoyed in the form of the fever dream of a short film Alchemist released alongside the project. The grainy visual, which features the tape’s four songs in succession, moves in slow motion through Alchemist’s home studio like a poltergeist, observing the instruments, weed crumbs, and visiting artists without any clear intent. The illusion breaks in the video’s final moments, when a long pan reveals Mac Miller on a couch, writing on his phone, bobbing to whatever loop happened to be lingering. It’s not a tribute exactly, more like a reverie.
You can watch the full clip and listen to the EP below. It comes one month after Fetti, Alchemist’s collaboration with Freddie Gibbs and Currensy.