Roc Marciano & The Alchemist- “The Elephant Man’s Bones” Review

Roc Marciano & The Alchemist- “The Elephant Man’s Bones” Review

In the hip-hop world, artistic titans and boundary breakers Roc Marciano and The Alchemist have solidified themselves as moguls in the culture. For what feels like forever at this point, both artists have been some of the hardest-working acts within the music business, fleshing out their expansive catalogs with releases that both fans and critics praise. Just this August, the two’s creative relationship reached new heights as after years of anticipation, Roc and Uncle Al released their joint lp, The Elephant Man’s Bones.

Throughout the albums 14-tracks, Marci and The Alchemist pack together a loaded experience that highlights the best of their abilities. Between the one-of-a-kind charisma Roc brings to each moment and The Alchemist’s knack for knitting together perfectly fitted beats, the one-two punch these artists create is one of the best team-ups hip hop has seen in a while. Roc Marciano further solidifies his title as one of the entertaining mcs of our time with his stone-cold delivery, buttery flow, and one-of-a-kind knack for wordplay. He takes advantage of every word he exerts on the lp with his ominous lyrical passages that embody the grittiness of gangsta rap while also highlighting the technical mastery of one of the game’s finest lyricists. With quotables like “Tryna be Hollywood, forgot they even knocked out Suge, The witch made the magic wand out of Holly wood” to name drops as wild as “comparing MJ to Weird Al Yankovic,” Roc’s signature charm makes for quite the spectacle. 

Enhancing Marciano’s presence, The Alchemist’s score complements the wretched feel the daggering lyrics convey masterfully. Working with mcs like Boldy James, Benny The Butcher, Freddie Gibbs, and Curren$y recently, The Alchemist’s sonic genius eases into each one of his collaborator’s signature styles seamlessly, and this is done no differently here. Whether it’s a pristine yet dirty instrumental, like “Deja Vu,” or a cut loop with abstract soul sample chops like “JJ Flash,” Uncle Al’s extraordinary vision magnifies the ability for Roc’s bars to resonate with listeners. Out of all the amazing instrumentals on this record, the definite standout comes from the self-titled track, which is purely beautiful with its elegant piano melody, faint drums, and sweet vocal sample, which serves as the bridge of the track. On top of the joy that comes with hearing Roc Marciano ride over these dirty and distorted instrumental loops, hearing featured mcs like Action Bronson and Boldy James contribute with verses of their own adds another layer of greatness to this lp.

All in all, The Elephant Man’s Bones is one of The Alchemist’s best records in his now over two-year-long run, teaming up with some of the game’s greatest mcs, but it is also one of the best projects Roc Marciano has ever released as well. Both of these generational talents show a profound understanding of their own skill sets and also each other. The way the duo plays off each other makes a special product that captures the dark yet lavish beauty the combination of The Alchemist’s beats and Roc’s lyrics bring to the table. As hip-hop fans, we often wish for collaborative records between our favorite artists, so for these culture-changing legends to finally come together and deliver us an experience that is this well-crafted, it only furthers their reputation as some of the greatest gifts hip-hop fans have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Rating: 8.1/10

Tracklist Ranked:

  1. The Elephant Man’s Bones
  2. Bubble Bath
  3. Liquid Coke
  4. Think Big
  5. The Horns of Abraxas
  6. Trillion Cut
  7. Daddy Kane
  8. Stigmata
  9. Quantum Leap
  10. JJ Flash
  11. Rubber Hand Grip
  12. Zip Guns
  13. Zig Zag Zag
  14. Deja Vu

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: