by Andrew Sacher
Though the most talked about hip hop release of this week is probably Nas' Life Is Good, don't let that overshadow The Alchemist's hip hop song cycle Russian Roulette. The album is thirty tracks long, all of which are under three minutes, and it's scattered with impressive guest spots from Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, Action Bronson, Guilty Simpson, Fashawn, Meyhem Lauren, Evidence, Roc Marciano, and so many more.
The tracks play into each other like the similarly assembled Beach Boys' Smile, their collaborator Van Dyke Park's Song Cycle, or side B of Abbey Road. Not saying that Russian Roulette is the Beach Boys/Beatles of rap albums, but the idea that its DNA is equally rooted in the odyssey of late '60s psychedelia as it is in golden age boom bap stands. While many guest-filled, producer-penned albums can play like inconsistent mixtapes, this one's more focused than some releases by a single rapper.
Check it out for yourself by streaming Russian Roulette in its entirety over at SPIN. A few of its tracks are also streaming below...