The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt name their favourite producers of all time
(Credits: Hip Hop Hero / TIDAL)

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The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt name their favourite producers of all time

Earl Sweatshirt is an esteemed creative who, since his explosion in 2013, has consistently released high-quality rap music outside of the mainstream. His debut album, Doris, was critically acclaimed, and last year, he teamed up with his California counterpart, The Alchemist, to release Voir Dire.

The 11-track project, released via Gala Music, was a truly collaborative album. The Alchemist produced every track and toiled alongside Earl Sweatshirt for over a year, leading to powerful results that showed two can often be more impressive than one.

The Alchemist (real name Alan Maman) worked closely with Odd Future when they first emerged on the Los Angeles hip-hop scene in the early 2010s. He executively produced Domo Genesis’ 2012 mixtape, No Idols, and worked on singles such as ‘Play It Cool’ with Earl Sweatshirt.

As an artist, Earl Sweatshirt has worked alongside Christian Rich, Michael ‘Uzi’ Uzowuru, Tyler The Creator and even RZA. However, ever since the release of his 2022 fourth album Sick!, the emcee (real name Thebe Kgositsile) has been carefully crafting an album with The Alchemist. 

Voir Dire was a smash, and in the lead-up to the album’s release, Sweatshirt and The Alchemist sat down with Complex for an episode of their YouTube series ‘GOAT Talk’ to speak about a range of topics and reveal things and people they believe are the ‘Greatest Of All Time’.

Concerning beatmakers, Kgositsile himself produces instrumentals under the moniker randomblackdude, and during his conversation with Maman, the two discussed who they believe to be the best hip-hop producers ever.

From hard-hitting trap beats to lo-fi jazzy instrumentals, different musicians have varying styles and while naming their favourite producers, The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt highlighted this.

When initially asked the question, The Alchemist swiftly responded,  “DJ Premier, man. I wanted to say something wacky, but it’s like, let’s just stick to it, let’s… come on.” He added, “DJ Premier is the pinnacle – I had to figure out how to not make fake Premier beats as a kid. It was that much of an influence on me.”

Earl Sweatshirt agreed with his longtime friend and collaborator but continued, “I feel like the other two who float up if you bring up Premier’s name, or three I guess, is Madlib, Pete Rock and RZA.”

During the conversation, the pair also spoke about what could be considered the greatest radio freestyle ever. Insisting it is Vince Staples’ 2014 freestyle on Sway In The Morning, Kgositsile proclaimed, “Vince! Vince! That’s a real freestyle, too. Vince on Sway. Four minutes, and it’s just his right finger [tapping] that keeps him tethered.”

Providing his own response, The Alchemist disclosed, “My favourite is an old one with Cam, Ma$e; it’s the whole Killa Kids before Dipset. Super early. It might have been a [DJ] Clue joint.” He continued, “Ma$e goes first. He’s kinda rhyming like Onyx like he’s screaming it’s incredible!”