Gangrene (Alchemist & Oh No) ft. Raekwon - Gutter Water
Hip-hop has a long history of flipping words with negative connotations into positives, but I wouldn’t in a million years have expected a hip-hop act to attempt to rehabilitate “Gangrene.” If any two men could make obscenely disgusting skin diseases sound dope, though, legendary West Coast beatsmith The Alchemist and rapper/producer Oh No are them. Despite boasting some appropriately unsavory vocal samples (“...billions of gallons of waste…”), Gutter Water is more smooth than grimy, with a head-noddable funk groove setting the stage for the collaborators’ hard-hitting braggadocio. The highlight, as you may have predicted, comes courtesy of the high-profile guest feature; Raekwon the Chef‘s deadpan flow fits the instrumental vibe perfectly, and the Wu-Tang legend’s lyrical game is every bit as vivid and complex as usual. Need more Gangrene in your life? Wait, that sounds gross, so I’ma rephrase: does this high-caliber cut leave you thirsty for more Gutter Water? Uh, that doesn’t sound right either. F*ck it, just go to your local record store and cop the album. Try not to step on any rusty nails on the way there.