.Show Preview: The Alchemist, Evidence and Oh No at Avalon

To constellate The Alchemist’s universe, you’ll have to weave a fabric of disparity: Entourage’s Scott Caan, son of venerable actor James Caan. Queens, NY-based thug chroniclers Mobb Deep. Weed rap. Cypress Hill. Beverly Hills. Milli Vanilli. Marshall Mathers. Somehow the idiosyncratic producer, DJ and hesitant rapper still finds time to cull samples for his MPC, devising projects with two of his fellow nostalgists: Gangrene with Stones Throw’s Oh No, and Step Brothers with Evidence of Dilated Peoples. On April 19th, the trio will bring the backpacks out to Santa Clara’s Avalon Nightclub.
They’ve moved on from weed rap—somewhat. Gangrene’s new album “Vodka & Ayahuasca” is 14 tracks of hallucinogenic ramblings and playful menace. All your favorites are here: the scratched callout imploring you to “get real” or “feel this,” the hypnotic piano loop that aims to be in some dadaist landscape, the occasional blaxploitation sample. Conspiracy theories and misguided Timothy Leary references are hip-hop staples, so while the album isn’t groundbreaking, it’s familiar and refreshingly free of the vainglorious aspirations of modern hip-hop. It’s there and it isn’t. Whoa.
In a time when one-time mafioso types like Mobb Deep have to dispel rumors they broke up on Twitter, The Alchemist’s levity and odd focus have kept him relevant. Recent gigs have included filling in as Eminem’s permanent DJ, producing for reigning weed rap ruler Curren$y, and boiling psychedelic tea leaves in the Amazon. For the sake of future weirdness, let’s hope all of this has gone to his head.
The Alchemist, Evidence and Oh No perform at Avalon on April 19th. Tickets are $14.85 in advance. Doors open at 8pm for the all-ages show.


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