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

Terror Squad "Bring It On" (1999)

Album: The Album
Label: WMG, Big Beat, Terror Squad

The Alchemist: “I remember that beat well. That’s the Jewish piano right there. That’s the actual name on the disk, it’s pretty funny I got the picture somewhere. There's a version of that beat with Beanie Sigel on it.

“A lot of people don’t know my relationship with Kyambo ‘Hip-Hop’ Joshua and [Former Roc-A-Fella Records exec] Kareem “Biggs” Burke goes back a long time. They will always be my close friends in the business.

 

Beans and I had never met and he rolled through with his crew and he was like, ‘Yo you the engineer man? Roll some weed up.’ I remember calling Hip-Hop and being like, ‘Damn, I wish you were here to referee this.’

 

“I met Hip-hop hanging out with DJ Premier at D&D Studios, when he was working with Jay-Z. I used to hang out at D&D with Premier and whenever people came through he would always say, ‘Yo, this is my man Al.’ He did a lot for me without even realizing it.

“They were picking Preme up and they were going to another studio so I rolled with them and then me and Hop started talking. He's the same age as me and we’ve been real close friends ever since. And you know Biggs is his brother.

“When they signed Beans, they were on a mission to hook me up with him cause I was coming up and they just felt like it would be a good match. I had this one DAT tape at the time I had mad beats on it and I would see Biggs and he would be like, ‘Yo number 17’ or some number on the tape and he would be like, ‘Number 17, I'm telling Beans about that one.’ We always tried to put it together.

“But it was a weird session, it didn’t really click off right. I was at Quad Studios and nobody was there, Beans and I had never met and he rolled through with his crew and he was like, ‘Yo you the engineer man? Roll some weed up.’ I remember calling Hip-Hop and being like, ‘Damn, I wish you were here to referee this.’

 

Maybe two or three times, I went to Rocafella or Def Jam and went to go meet Beans, Biggs, or Hop and they called Jay-Z into the room. I definitely got to play beats before for Jay in those scenarios but it just never connected.

 

“Maybe two or three times, I went to Rocafella or Def Jam and went to go meet Beans, Biggs, or Hop and they called Jay-Z into the room. I definitely got to play beats before for Jay in those scenarios but it just never connected.

“Beans is my man and I love him and have nothing but respect for him, but the first time in the studio with him was strange. We ended up doing some stuff that night and we ended up recording to the ‘Bring It On’ beat. I remember him saying, ‘You only balled on the playground’ and it was dope but it got lost in the shuffle.

“Then it made it to the Terror Squad project. Joe did justice to it. It’s funny because my friend Stretch Armstrong ended up throwing that on for The LOX to freestlye to. Stretch ended up calling me saying, ‘Yo The LOX want to hookup with you’ and that kinda started my relationship with The LOX.”

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