Most hip-hop heads already know The Alchemist; the onetime Mobb Deep associate had seemed to settle into place as an underground fave until the 2010s, when a new generation of MCs turned his atmospheric beats into their personal playgrounds. Now 43, he had his best year yet in 2020, earning equal billing with Freddie Gibbs on Alfredo and Boldy James on The Price of Tea in China, both of which were among our favorite albums of the year. As for Armand Hammer, the project of ELUCID and billy woods has been bubbling just below a breakout since at least 2018’s Paraffin, and their profile was raised again with Shrines (2020) and woods’ subsequent collaboration with Moor Mother, the stunning LP BRASS.
Haram is the first time that Armand Hammer have worked with just one producer for a full-length release. The word “haram” is Arabic for “forbidden,” and as the graphically porky album art makes clear, this is an album concerned with transgression and taboo. It features contributions from Earl Sweatshirt, Quelle Chris, KAYANA, Fielded, Curly Castro, and Amani.
In a statement, the project was described thus: “This isn’t just the genre’s most insistent contemporary voices paired with arguably its best producer. This is when you buy a beautiful house only to discover, hidden behind a heavy bookcase, a stairway twisting up and away into the darkness.” No singles have been released just yet, but pre-orders are ongoing, and you can peep the tracklist and artwork after the jump.
Last week, The Alchemist contributed to the remix album from Kenny Beats and Denzel Curry UNLOCKED 1.5.
01. Sir Benni Miles
02. Roaches Don’t Fly
03. Black Sunlight (feat. KAYANA)
04. Indian Summer
05. Aubergine (feat. Fielded)
06. God’s Feet
09. Falling Out The Sky (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
10. Wishing Bad (feat. Curly Castro & Amani)
11. Chicharrones (feat. Quelle Chris)
13. Robert Moses