Album Review/Stream: Step Brothers (Evidence & Alchemist)- Lord Steppington

Posted: January 30, 2014 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Although Evidence and Alchemist are not related, in the hip-hop world they members of the same family as they rose to prominence together back in the mid/late 1990’s. Alchemist is a prolific producer who is known as a sonic master in hip-hop through his signature boom-bap sound, and he has shown no signs of slowing down recently. As a certified veteran, Alchemist has made it a priority to link up with his favorite new school rappers to create standout full-length projects. Working with the likes of Action Bronson, Domo Genesis, Boldy James, and Curren$y as well as older emcees such as Prodigy and Roc Marciano, the quality, consistent output coming from Alchemist has been remarkable. And since Alchemist and Evidence have been tight since high school, it is only right that they have finally joined forces to create this Lord Steppington album (under the moniker of Step Brothers), a project that was announced back in 2008. Alchemist is responsible for the majority of the production, and it is easy to hear how comfortable he his rapping well-thought out, yet random bars with Evidence over multi-faceted, gritty beats. You might not fully appreciate Lord Steppington if you take it too seriously as the project features the duo at their most absurd lyrically. However, the advanced wordplay and outrageous imagery on display is impressive, and musically it is a body of work that holds up to the high standard that we have come to expect from the Alchemist. 

Right off the bat we are blessed with soulful intro track “More Wins” that features Evidence and Alchemist trading verses as they do throughout the whole project. While Evidence is strong and steady on the mic, it is the distinct raps and flows of the underrated emcee Alchemist (who usually just sticks to producing) that prove to supply many of the highlights on Lord Steppington. Following “More Wins” is the undeniable head-nodder “Dr Kimble”, a menacing track that feature raw lyrics and shows off the impressive contrast of styles that Alchemist is capable of. Booming bass, hard snares, and riffs will hit you in the face while listening to this album and the Step Brothers’ chemistry is on point as they unleash their free-flowing punchlines. While the edginess of Lord Steppington is what resonates the loudest (“Bryon G, “Legendary Mesh”, “Mums In The Garage”), there are some songs that are richer sounding and provide a welcomed break from the well-crafted chaos. Tracks like “No Hesitation” and “Tomorrow” fall in this lane as they provide balance to a body of work that largely excels in its ability to rely on ridiculousness as a centerpiece.

Fans of Evidence and Alchemist will also be pleased that the duo did a good job of recruiting the proper guests to rock out with them. From the standout performances from Rakaa (of Dilate Peoples) and Blu on the mellow “Tomorrow” to New York rapper Roc Marciano gliding over the hustler-themed, somber production on “See The Rich Man Play”, the outside appearances on Lord Steppington are for the most part excellent. A wide array of rappers including the likes of Styles P, Domo Genesis, Oh No, and even Scott Caan (who rapped with Alchemist before becoming an actor) are all in fine form.  And as always on Alchemist produced projects, there are songs that blow your mind as they prove the true genius of the man behind the boards. “Swimteam Rastas” is a track that exemplifies this with its multiple beat switches, and it shows Evidence and Alchemist at their most zoned in lyrically. But even when it does not seem like it, this kind of focus is present throughout the entirety of the project.

Overall, Lord Steppington is a solid collection of tracks that well-versed rap nerds will relish in due to the sharp bars and tough production. Alchemist has an astute ability to take old forms of soul/psychedelic based music and stir up something that sounds modern. And although subject matter of Lord Steppington may not be heavy-handed with meaningful substance, it meshes well with the impressive sonic world created by the Alchemist. The chemistry of the duo on the mic is apparent and each of them have moments on the project in which they shine. The audio from various YouTube videos provide transitions between songs and it verifies the ‘cartoon-like’ quality of Lord Steppington. The album is tough, fast-paced and entertaining, and each of these aspects is reflected in the raps of Evidence and Alchemist. It seems like the two had a great time making this experimental body of work and while this project won’t be the most memorable album in the catalog of Evidence/Alchemist fans, the Step Brothers continue to make nothing but high-quality hip-hop and Lord Steppington is a worthy testament to that.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Listen to Lord Steppington below and let us know what you think! 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. […] variety of emcees from both the old and new schools of hip-hop and is fresh off the release of the Lord Steppington album he put out earlier this year with long time collaborator Evidence. As 2014 rolls along, Alchemist has now linked up with a lesser known producer named Budgie for a […]

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