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Quite easily the first great album of 2012, Alchemist and Oh No return as Gangrene with Vodka & Ayahuasca, their second collaborative album. Sharing duties on mics and boards, the duo have created a tripped out concept album, blending psychedelic samples with blunted rhymes.

Upon first listen, one might assume that Alchemist – the more famed producer of the group – was responsible for all of the beats on this LP, despite the fact Oh No produces the bulk of it. It’s put together in a way that makes it sound like the work of one producer, each track cohesively weaving into the next, with assorted samples of drunk bums delivering soon-to-be-classic quotables, immortalized here forever.

The album opens with the aptly titled “Gladiator Music”, riding a nasty guitar loop to it’s climax, as Al and Oh trade aggra-docio rhymes, which by itself is incredible, but an added verse from Kool G. Rap seals the deal. This leads into the ridiculously dark “Flame Throwers”, taking the prospects of gangster rap to the tenth level, while the dusty “Drink It Up” invites Greneberg partner Roc Marciano to join the fray, over a beat so nasty it melts your grill into 3 minutes of permanent screw-face.

That statement actually applies to the rest of the LP as well, as the two have mastered the art of gutter rap production, with other standout moments including “Dump Truck” (feat. Prodigy) and “Dark Shades” (feat. Evidence and Roc C). Alchemist and Oh No hold their own on the microphone throughout the album (an impressive feat, since both are producers first), but when those special guests come in, you’re already so open to the rest of the album, that when they grab the mic, it makes it one of those “Oooooh!” moments.

While Alchemist and Curren$y’s Covert Coup EP of 2011 perfected the laid back, blunted production style, this one instead goes for a more blitzed-out-of-your-mind, drunken-high, showing amazing range from the team. Even better than their debut, Vodka & Ayahuasca is easily the best thing yet of 2012, and will surely be honored on many year-end lists.

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8 Responses to "Gangrene (Alchemist + Oh No) – “Vodka & Ayahuasca” – @@@@1/2"
  • Hodges says:

    Not quite reaching Golden Era type consistency throughout the whole album, but the dope cuts far kill anything else from these commercial acts. “Livers For Sale” is one of the harder songs I’ve ever heard in my life.

  • Dayz says:

    Instant classic hands down! I cannot stop listening to this LP! I have sat back and listened through it’s entirety over 20x now and it keeps sounding better and better! To me that’s what makes a classic LP no matter what genre of music. This LP is best appreciated in it’s entirety it flows seamlessly and after each song they hit you with one even doper than the last one! The production is some of the best I have ever heard these two took it to a new level with this one here. This duo needs to keep doing what they do cause it is a recipe for masterpieces! Gutter Water was incredible but this is light years ahead of that. BUY THIS LP NOW!!! Easily contender for LP of 2012 even though it’s only February…

  • battle hound says:

    “Quite easily the first great album of 2011, Alchemist and Oh No return as Gangrene with Vodka & Ayahuasca…”

    …think you mean 2012

    sounds doper than dope
    great review

  • Derek says:

    3 and 1/2 at best for me. Some really dope beats, generic rhymes though kill the album for me. Alchemist and Oh no are equally dope producers, but lack a lot on the mic. Good stuff, but nothing incredible.

  • Dayz says:

    I know a lot of people would have issue with the emceein’/lyrics but to me these are like Beatnuts LPs, the production is so good that it carries them anytime they fall short. And in my opinion Oh No has always been nice on the mic and ALC has really stepped it up in the past couple years. Remember ALC was an emcee first then became a producer… Do your homework y’alls!

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