The title of The Alchemist’s new album, This Things of Ours, seems to suggest a sort of random, directionless type of energy to be present in the song selection. The title alone also seems to pay homage to Earl Sweatshirt’s infamous 2018 album, “Some Rap Songs” – which is fitting, considering Earl is a feature on two out of four tracks that make up the album.
This Things of Ours follows the same concept that Earl had with “Some Rap Songs” – keeping the bars and the overall length of the album short and sweet. In other words, there is a sense of emphasis and urgency when it comes to focusing on what each artist’s message is trying to express.
If you look beyond the surface, you will see that this album is creating an illusion when it comes to it being any bit dis-organized or directionless. When you only have a total of four tracks carrying the album, each move is extremely calculated.
The Alchemist was quite meticulous as to who he chose to work with on this album – which ended up being MC’s Earl Sweatshirt, Navy Blue, SIDESHOW, Boldy James, Pink Siifu, and Maxo.
A theme of religion is communicated throughout the project. The religious undertones and symbolism revealed that the very thing that made this group of artists be able to hold onto the prospect of faith was the strength that emerges from a community.
All of these artists are not only uplifting and supporting one another when it comes to creative endeavours – but in their personal lives as well, they are one another’s sense of kinship, brotherhood, and community.
The Black community is the perspective and voice in which the album is speaking to. The first track off the album, “Nobles” featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue, is one in which white privilege is illuminated.
The word “noble” back in the day was a word used to address someone who was a member of the upper class, aristocratic, and most indefinitely of caucasion descent.
The white community is deemed superior in every way with absolutely no real credentials – born with automatic privilege without them ever really having to “prove” their worthiness and respect constantly.
Earl and Navy Blue convey that their sense of nobility to them is found through the profound sense of resilience of their community – not only of the act of survival itself, but the ability to thrive in an environment that was set up to perish them.
The sample that is featured at the very beginning of “Noble” really sums it all up.
“Everyone knew that whoever let the sadness overtake him would sink into the swamp. And the same time, elsewhere in fantasia – a creature of darkness also began his quest.”
On the track “TV Dinners,” SIDESHOW and Boldy James touch on all the ways in which the black community is targeted – whether that be through poverty, addiction, violence, or mass incarceration. SIDESHOW raps, “I want the most like can’t you see we winners? Judge tried to give our asses the most. My best friend servin ‘ten, eatin’ TV Dinners.”
Although they are touching on the many ways that their community is divided by racist institutions itself; they are also illuminating that their faith never lingers when it comes to believing in their inherent worthiness. They know deep down, despite the distortion and stereotypes of their community, that it is their divine right to possess material and spiritual prosperity.
However, “This Thing of Ours” also makes it clear that this inherent sense of self-worth that was constantly being undermined by society – that worth and righteousness was re- birthed through their solidarity as a community.
The Alchemist’s beats resemble sad dreams, a gloominess that is lightened by an aura of trumpets and strings. The production that The Alchemist delivered was one that brought forth that sonic sensation of hope but also of recognition.
Stream The Alchemist’s new album, This Thing of Ours below! Throughout the last year our sense of community, comradery, and connection was robbed due to a pandemic – this album goes to prove just how crucial and needed solidarity is in order to attain inner peace within the self.