The long-awaited collaboration of two underground giants takes listeners from their comfort zone, looking for new adventures in uncharted territory.
When you consider who is the epitomize of the contemporary underground scene, from the perspective of producing and rapping Two names pop into your mind immediately: Roc Marciano and The Alchemist. The two hip-hop pioneers who are introverted have been instrumental in bringing the scene returning to its origins and reviving the old methods of digging up crate and compact rhyming, to create an edgy sound. Their importance to the music industry and the unique chemistry they have on and off the record has made fans long for an album with two of the most influential artists; and almost a decade later, fans could get their request with this record.
The Elephant Man’s Bones is an additional spooky experience, mixing sinister mafioso-inspired lyrics and sinister synths to create a mysterious journey filled with violence and punishment.
Roc Marci as well as Alchemist have developed a huge collection of music over the last decade, showing the implementation of minimalist ideals to an extremely high level. They have a commonality in their use of abstract ideas and stripped-down music that emphasizes sampling and bars. Their curiosity allows their music to break the limits of their styles that serve as an example for others who follow their drum-less patterns. Many believe that what they would do will fail, Roc Marci and Alchemist have managed to change the direction and make a Grammy-nominated wave.
Roc Marciano charms hip-hop’s world once time and again with his pimp-postured raps and slick schemes that take the wheel. The Hempsted-bred anti-hero made his reputation by with hip-hop by bringing it back to its origins with his machismo-like raps that evoked memories of the golden era. This album has the same passion, and puts on a myriad of lyrical workouts that are accompanied by an ode to a chef. The album is awash in roughness by having Marci dropping icy-hearted single-liners that will leave a smelly face like (“Soon when the drama was to a head, you were kicked in your feet”) as well as (“Came in on guys like an air balloon that was filled with Helium”).
Alongside Marciano’s terrifying rhymes, a solid list of films is brought in and each plays the strengths of their respective characters in this close-to-cinematic experience. Action Bronson as well as Boldy James sway into scenes with smooth lines as well as Knowledge the Pirate taps into to incorporate his Hempsted-bred adventures in the loop. the most interesting feature is Ice-T’s performance in “The Horns of Abraxas” in which he narrates the terrifying tale “about doing a fucking favor for a friend”. Certain elements like these display an uncanny resemblance with the mafioso film scene, emitting the Godfatherand a Godfatheresque vibe which keeps the listener hooked. It’s a fitting metaphor to someone who’s regarded as the godfather of the current underground scene.
Then, who can forget the terrifying synths and samples that provide the foundation for the audio-motion film. Al performs the job of creating an atmosphere that is infused with horror and fear to complement the brutal rhymes of Roc. What makes the album appealing is the overuse of drums throughout the production which enhances the supernatural vibe and eventually aiming for an experience that is more chilling. Furthermore, Roc Marciano and Alchemist are well-known for their lack use of drums within their songs which was a problem for many but it is a clear indication of what people were not getting.
For someone who has spent most of his time producing music his own music, Roc Marciano might have simply kept the project in-house. He’s a Long Island native has made it to this point using his own beat and microphone machine, and has mastered the art of minimal hip-hop through the process that any collaboration could be considered to be overkill. But, Marci is all for the music and appreciates the impact he’s had in the sport in the past few years. and the effort Alchemist has done since the rebranding. However, how do two giants meet artistically and produce an album that embodies the decade-long legacy that both have passed down for future generations to build on. The answer lies in this album.
The project could have served as a fan-service as a reminder that it was possible to create a Roc Marciano as well as Alchemist collab album is possible however, the two masterminds decided to go beyond to create a work art that would be a part of the world beyond. Both artists have had to deal with a many listeners who fled from their dark soundtracks, but as years go by, the same listeners have begun to discover the art beneath the surface of the muddy. The strong connection to the idea of the famous bone of the Elephant Man emerges when we watch Roc Marciano as well as Alchemist finally start to appreciate their work in real-time. A celebration of heritage as well as teamwork and culture. This album is a celebration of teamwork, tradition and culture. Elephant Man’s Bones is a salute to the underground hip-hop scene in a toast to two legends who were able to overcome the odds and develop the music form previously ignored.
The Elephant Man’s Bones is an ode to the underground music scene The Alchemist and Roc Marciano helped to create and put on a show of top emceeing, bold beat-making, and top-quality artistry, and retaining the same grit that launched their careers. The album is everything fans had dreamed of after a joint effort with Roc Marciano, The Alchemist and more, paying tribute to the decades of dedication and friendship within the underground hip-hop scene.
8.5 / 10
The best tracks are: “Rubber Hand Grip”, “Daddy Kane”, “Deja Vu”, “Trillion Cut”, “The Horns of Abraxas”, “Liquid Coke”, “Zip Guns”