This Thing Of Ours (One) was a fantastic refreshment of four tracks that included some of hip-hop’s most sacred performers and writers. Coming into the sequel, The Alchemist changes the lineup, introducing some new faces to the mix, and gives the second round of starters a game plan to destroy.
Revealing the white and black checkered parlor floors with “Miracle Baby,” MAVI is the only featured artist on the track and commands the audience to listen instead of contributing. This history lesson comes in the form of MAVI repeating “They don’t know if I’m a rookie or if it’s a disguise, that lil nigga know what he doing, you can see in his eyes.”
Truly the instrumentation is perfect for MAVI as the sun shines brightly over him, becoming this gifted and gilded narrator who drops nuggets of wisdom like they are free game.
The transition from “Miracle Baby” to “Lossless” which features MIKE is like hitting dead stop traffic on the FDR. MIKE slows the beat, making it twist and conform to his will as The Alchemist matches like a new fresh coat of paint.
One line that really takes MIKE to a sticking position is when he illustrates, “I’m in the fog, I ain’t empty but I’m lossless. Remember we involved, but be ready when it’s lawless.” Without becoming vindicating, MIKE holds power but never holds that power over the audience’s head. Instead, he invites to grow and understand together.
Another personal favorite artist, Zelooperz uses this low-tuned and intimidating beat to crawl between the audience on “Wildstyle.”. He creates separation and a diversity to the delivery on This Thing Of Ours 2 but is energetic behind the narration. Featuring vocal fries and obtuse inflection, Zelooperz is a treasure on “Wildstyle,” but is also the shortest featured track of the record.
Rounding out home plate, Vince Staples appears on “6 Five Heartbeats” and immediately strikes at the core emotional strings with not only the most impressive production from Alchemist but also the most gorgeous verse.
Filled with paranoia, misery, and self-inflection, Staples becomes shattered behind the microphone but still maintains that concrete exterior he is well known for. Describing, “You had blogs, we had Beretta’s, couldn’t buy no birds, we fly together.” With one line, he not only comes in stronger than steel but continues to illustrate strife through his verse. He pushes on, “I’m searching for some real love, someone to set my heart free. Shot him on the 8th block, I hope nobody saw me.”
Through production and grace, The Alchemist does a full Pommel Horse with perfected execution in music standards. Dropping some of the best music in this generation, Alchemist etches another Mount Rushmore for rap under his belt with This Thing Of Ours 2.
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