and Oh No
, respected and accomplished MCs and producers in their own right, weren’t acquainted until they met at a show headlined by Dilated Peoples
member and mutual friend, Evidence (2)
. Inspired, Al contacted Oh No and proposed a collaborative project. From that point they “just clicked”, says Oh No. “I sent him a verse and a beat, and he sent a beat and a verse.” The creative sparring continued, and they began to refer to the work as Gangrene. As the project began to flesh itself out organically over the course of these exchanges, each artists relished the opportunity to best his cohort with the most profoundly disturbing, cut-throat concoction he could muster, be it a threatening stanza or traumatic instrumental. The friendly competition was spurred on by a deep-rooted mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work, and the music began to reflect this as they exchanged sonic influence, ultimately contributing to an aesthetic that resides at the corner of Crenshaw and Elm Street.
Three years after the creative mutagen was introduced, the Alchemist and Oh No stand upon a seething heap of rugged de-compositions to be released as an album titled Gutter Water on Decon. Together as Gangrene they present a dense canvas from which verses by guests Planet Asia
, Evidence (2)
, Twin Gambino
and Roc 'C'
leap into action alongside rhymes of their own. Oh No explains, “Our sounds are really raw, gritty. It just worked.”
Though both are life long students of the school of sampling, they’re approach to doing so differed initially. Gradually breaking down analog recordings to there elements, Al and Oh have since become a force of nature, accosting beautiful pieces of music, turning them inside out and repackaging them into an ominous, pitch-colored void of thuggery. Gangrene is a hood-certified existential demonstration of creative conceptualism; creating something by taking less from more, returning an organic creation to the soil, diamonds into coal.