What’s it like producing songs together?
The Alchemist: It’s like riding an ill bike, fam. It’s like lacing up the right boot with the right lace and the bowtie’s tied laced up with the string attached, ya heard? Print all that shit right there, that’s gonna look ill when you print it. Trust me. Put that shit in italics right there. Put that shit in a different font. Yo, get my font right. That’s some shit [Raekwon] would say, “Get my font right in the interview man. I want my fonts correct in this interview fam.” [Laughs.] That basically answered that.
Well let me ask Oh this. The record has a psychedelic sound. Where is that inspired from?
The album is inspired from chewing South American leaves. Slow boil, you start to inhale the fumes so I start to go up there. That’s where it all comes from. —Oh No
Oh No: It’s inspired from chewing South American leaves.
The Alchemist: Mmmmm.
Oh No: Mmmm, real slow.
The Alchemist: Mmmm.
Oh No: Slow boil, you start to inhale the fumes so I start to go up there. That’s where it all comes from.
The Alchemist: Mmmm.
Were you boiling up the leaves in the studio?
Oh No: No, I was breaking them shits up.
The Alchemist: [Laughs.] If you mix vodka with Ayahuasca, I think you can die. I guess that’s a good metaphor for the music. [Laughs.] If you listen to us, you might die! [Laughs.]
Oh No: It’s very dangerous.
The Alchemist: It’s really dangerous. Oh really set it off with the psychedelic [sounds]. We both make beats, but I think at this point—especially after you do one album—it’s more challenging to attack a certain sound.
He set it off with certain things he was flipping. And it was like oh, look at the album cover, listen to the album, you drink some herbal elixirs and it all goes down right. Does that make sense? Does it sound good?
It sounds good to me.
The Alchemist:I’m gonna flip that into a lyric, “Herbal elixir.” That’s too lyrical right? “Herbal elixir/I turn the knobs on the mixer/And drink a verbal elixir.” Yo write that down. I’m on a roll today.
If you mix vodka with Ayahuasca, I think you can die. I guess that’s a good metaphor for the music. [Laughs.] If you listen to us, you might die!
That’s funny because I remember on Chemical Warfare you had that skit with the two street dudes arguing with two backpackers…
The Alchemist: Yeah. That’s where I get that inspiration from. You better kick them lyrical formats like a miracle doormat. [Laughs.] Write that one down too man!
The Alchemist: Email those back to me because I’m gonna need to add those into my next masterpiece.
Alright, but seriously I wanna ask about the title. I don’t usually ask people about titles, but this one is interesting. Can you please explain what is Ayahuasca?
The Alchemist: We’re bringing it back. This is like drug entertainment rap. It enlightens you. Some people are gonna end up looking it up and they’re gonna learn about Ayahuasca. I dunno if I should spoil it. Maybe I should let them go on their own journey. That’s what I had to do. What do you think Oh?
Oh No: Everybody has to go on their own self-journey.
The Alchemist: Yeah if we try to explain it, it might mess up their journey. We don’t wanna mess your journey up.
What was this journey that you went on to discover Ayahuasca?
The Alchemist: It’s an in-depth journey that cant be journalized so we’re probably unjournaficated. But it has to do with Brazil. We were out in Brazil on a journified quest. And that’s about all the information that we can forgo.
So you guys went to Brazil together?
The Alchemist: Yes we were in Brazil.
And you guys were just chilling out in Brazil or were you doing a show? Or what was it?
Ayahuasca is from thousands of years ago—it’s something ancient. Vodka is now. So were mixing them up in a bowl and pouring it on your laptop and making your shit electrocuting. This album is gonna ruin your laptop. That’s a horrible sales pitch. [Laughs.] Nobody’s gonna buy our shit now, but who cares? —The Alchemist
The Alchemist: It’s hard to define but Ayahuasca was discovered. And the vodka combination—which could kill you—was discovered and then we came back with the concept and just ran all the way out of the stadium with it.
So were you guys using Ayahuasca?
The Alchemist: Do you, uh, work for Complex or the federal enforcement agency? Can we confirm that first?
The Alchemist: [Laughs.] These are some serious allegations, man. I’m saying that. It’s something mysterious and I feel like people can discover it on their own. But I think that Ayahuasca is from thousands of years ago—it’s something ancient. Vodka is now. So were mixing them up in a bowl and pouring it on your laptop and making your shit electrocuting. That’s what we’re doing—ruining your laptop. This album is gonna ruin your laptop.
The Alchemist: That’s not a good sales pitch. That’s a horrible sales pitch. [Laughs.] Nobody’s gonna buy our shit now, but who cares? It’s good stuff. It’s gonna ruin your laptop.