The Alchemist, 1st Infantry (2004)
Album: 1st Infantry
Label: Koch, All City
The Alchemist: “1st Infantry was hot. I infiltrated so it’s real infiltrizing [sic]. I threw everybody for a loop, ‘What is going on here? Who is this Puerto Rican guy who’s trying to rap like Prodigy? Get him out of here B. Put on some real shit.’
“The reception to it was more than I could have ever expected. It sold almost 200,000 copies and that was like amazing. I never would have thought that. I always do something that I like and that’s as far as I go. I'm always amazed when I see a bunch of people singing along, I'm like, ‘Word? Dope!’ I know I like it, that’s as much as I can say.
If the Kanye thing was in my cards it would have happened already. I didn’t see myself the way he saw himself on the stage with that many people. You have to see it. I realized that I wanted to make what I wanted to make and then find my lane as I progressed.
“It was a big stepping stone for me because it’s like where do you go as a producer? I made beats for different artists and made a name for myself. People know who I am but what do I do now? Do I keep being this beats for sale guy? What’s the next step?
“If the Kanye thing was in my cards it would have happened already. I didn’t see myself the way he saw himself on the stage with that many people. You have to see it. I realized that I wanted to make the shit I wanted to make and then find my lane as I progressed.
“People hate when I rhyme. Like I read the reviews, ‘We don’t really care much for his rapping but we like the beats.’ So it’s kinda cool I get to piss people off as long as the beats are good.
“I love the fact that I can pull off a lot right now. I DJ parties, I help Gangrene, and I rhyme with too. I like the opportunities that I have now and I think 1st Infantry gave birth to that. I’ve been working with Schoolboy Q and Domo Genesis and both of them are like, ‘1st Infantry man!’ They were both really into it and it’s dope to see that it had some type of effect on people that I think are dope now.”