If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and go watch some of the absolutely hilarious promo videos for Gangrene's upcoming album, Vodka and Ayahuasca. Shot by acclaimed director Jason Goldwatch, the videos feature everything from a fat kid promising a beatdown if you dare cross him, a little girl playing with an AR-15, and a loser in his mom's basement making idle threats. Clearly, Gangrene is an army.
Oh and, the music is pretty good too.
In case you aren't already aware, the group itself consists of two producer/rappers, The Alchemist and Oh No. The duo's last LP, Gutter Water, dropped in 2010 and now they're back for more. Their new album has a psychedelic feel, is entirely co-produced by ALC and Oh No, and drops on January 25th.
We got on the horn with the duo to talk about Vodka and Ayahuasca but our conversation was about as off the wall and laugh out loud funny as their promo videos have been. Still, we got them to act seriously for long enough to explain to us how the album came together, what individual projects they both have coming up this year (including ones with Action Bronson, Blackstar, and ScHoolboy Q), and how they discovered an ancient drug called Ayahuasca,..
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
What’s up Al?
The Alchemist: Chilling, what’s the word?
I’m good. Glad to have you both on the phone.
The Alchemist: You got Oh here? Oh, you must be on your 75th blunt already.
Oh No: Rolling a blunt just for this one right now.
Cool. We wanted to talk to you guys about your new album—
The Alchemist:—do you rhyme?
Do I what?
The Alchemist: Do you rap?
No, not anymore. [Laughs.]
Human interaction is not necessary on this level of com-mu-ni-ca-tion-alism. I’m not gonna lie, I followed Oh’s lead on this project. I suck on this one. If you like it, it’s all his fault. - The Alchemist
The Alchemist: You got a good voice, son. You should give it a shot! I thought you was rhyming just now. You got cadence in your delivery. You got nice cadence, man.
Well, okay thanks. [Laughs.]
The Alchemist: No doubt, my bad, I didn’t mean to cut you off. What were you saying?
Well, I was going to ask, how did the initial discussion for this album start?
The Alchemist: I don’t think it was any conversation, ever. This might be the first time I had a full conversation with Oh ever.
The Alchemist: Yeah, we teleport man.
Uh, okay. So at what point did you guys start making songs?
The Alchemist: I’m still trying to figure that out. I don’t know if it’s the weed or the amount of beats that Oh No sends me—it makes me dizzy. I still can’t figure it out.
But I know that he’s like a pitcher and I’m like the batter. I could never put that into a rhyme without it being a real wack analogy. It’s like a top-notch pitcher—the ball’s gonna throw straight over the plate and shazam. Shiggity-shop-bop. Boom-shiggity-boom.
[Laughs.] How do you feel about that description, Oh?
Oh No: That feels great.
The Alchemist: I love this guy.
You mentioned him sending you a lot of beats—were you guys getting in the studio together or was it over email?
The Alchemist: This album it was both. If he wanted to fly the spaceship to this side or not, but the teleport thing is always good for me. So, human interaction is not necessary on this level of com-mu-ni-ca-tion-alism. Can you spell that slowly so people get that effect?
The Alchemist: Alright, spell it real slow so people get that drawl. But we were definitely in the lab for most of it. I’m not gonna lie, I followed Oh’s lead on this project. I suck on this one. If you like it, it’s all his fault