The Alchemist Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Mobb Deep "Got It Twisted" (2004)

Album: Amerikaz Nightmare
Label: BMG, Jive, Infamous

The Alchemist: “That that came from a nickname that we all called P, we all called him Science because he was a smart guy. He’s scientific man, he reads a lot.

“Him and Havoc were at my crib one day, I was making a beat and they were in the other room and I was going, ‘Science!’ And he was like, ‘Yo what the fuck is that?’ I said ‘You don’t remember that song? "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby?’ He said, ‘I think so.’ So then I pulled it up and he was like, ‘Oh yeah.’

“Then they came in the room and Havoc was like, ‘Yo that’s ill’ and he started bopping to it and they started writing to it immediately. Then Havoc saying, ‘Yo you just gotta make the drums a little bigger.’ And then within the next couple days he called me and said, ‘Nah son, we gotta leave it. It’s ill.’

“So we went from there. I was thinking of ‘Quiet Storm,’ how Hav took an ‘80s bassline break down and put a little keyboard that just made it ominous. I wanted to be ominous too. So I om-u-nized ‘She Blinded Me With Science.’ And they gutted it out enough.

 

Some people felt it was a risky thing and we toed the line by using some ‘80s pop. But I never felt that way because growing up and watching MTV being the most rapped out hip-hop kid, there were always songs that we loved that were pop. That was one of them and we all loved that song, 'She Blinded Me With Science.'

 

“Some people felt it was a risky thing and we toed the line by using some ‘80s pop shit. But I never felt that way because growing up and watching MTV being the most rapped out hip-hop kid, there were always songs that we loved that were pop. That was one of them and we all loved that song.

“[Some of those songs] were in movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. They were songs that we grew up with that get embedded in your fucking brain. So it was dope to pull that one off.

“I don’t think it made much money because we had to clear it but it was dope because the guy who made it, Thomas Dolby, said in an interview that he liked how we made it. It was always dope to me that we got his stamp. It was like I pulled up to the club in a fancy car and I stepped up with the goldfish platforms and said, ‘I have arrived!’ In a pimp suit!

“At that time, there was a whole batch of producers in the circle that we were working and we were all respectfully competing. It was Rockwilder, Buckwild, No ID, EZ Elpee, Diamond D, and Just Blaze. And of course Pharrell and them came up and blew up. There were so many people that were creative and dope on a production level. There are people like that now too, but at that time there was a lot of other dope shit that we all competed with.

“I would bump into [those other producers] at sessions. I'd be like, ‘Aww shit here’s fucking Rockwilder. I can’t play a beat now. He's gonna put on that amazing shit. Aww here comes Buckwild.’ There was a lot of creative and respectful competition of us trying to get on these albums. It made for good albums.”

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