Thursday May 24, 2018

The Alchemist f/ Maxwell, Twista - Smile (Single)
Posted by Steve Juon at Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: The Alchemist f/ Maxwell, Twista
Title: Smile
Label: ALC/E1 Music

I only had to hear this song ONE TIME on XM/Sirius and I was instantly hooked. Some producers have incredibly apt names - Pete's tracks Rock, Premier describes every beat and scratch he DJ's, and there's definitely some transmutational magic to how The Alchemist blends beats to create gold. The beat sways and swings along, riding over a simple but unconventional drumbeat - a rapid fire ta-ta-ta-ta-tap, ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-tap with the sound of hand percussion as opposed to snares or toms. A somber and soulful melody wraps around it like a lover, with rising and falling organ chords lightly accentuated by piano keys and heavily dominated by the vocals of the artistic triumvirate over the beat. Twista: "Try not to travel down the wrong road/So that when your legacy is told/You was known to be a hustler who provided for his family and did it cold/Conquer obstacles and challenges/Make your competition bow to this/Spit it for my homey Alchemist/Hold up! Let me find another style for this." Twista immediately goes into overdrive showing his rapid-tongue flow, but he never loses the feel of the song nor does Alchemist lose the clarity of his diction. Every element is perfectly matched to the other, a veritable symphony of elements, and the breakdown at the end of the song to just Maxwell and the piano is so smooth and soulful you'll get a genuine cold chill down your spine. This, song, is FUCKING, BEAUTIFUL.

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