One of hip-hop's most consistently impressive producers (and a quality rapper as well), Alchemist has been putting in work since the early '90s. He came up under the wing of DJ Muggs in California before moving to New York later in the decade, crafting sinister-yet-catchy beats for murder-rap icons Mobb Deep and CNN. Since then, he's become hugely in demand, working as a tour DJ for Eminem and cranking out hits for countless rappers on both coasts, both indie (Oh No, Devin the Dude, Roc Marciano) and mainstream (Snoop, G Unit, Nas). On the menu for his Cookbook, we get a half-dozen tracks showcasing his work with a diverse selection of artists, including Styles P, Prodigy, Keak Da Sneak, Kid Cudi, and longtime co-conspirator Evidence. All these songs are great, but the electroed-out freakiness of "Follow the Dollar," the dreamy THC anthem "Calmly Smoke," and the radio-ready "Key to the City" are highlights.
Key to the City (feat. Nina Sky, Prodigy)
Lose Your Life (feat. Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg, Pusha T)