You knew there was no way Eminem was going to tour without a DJ.
So when Green Lantern left the Shady camp a few weeks back amidst the controversy he caused with his appearance on the street DVD "The Come Up, Vol. 5," it was only a matter of time before a new turntablist filled the vacancy (see "DJ Green Lantern Explains Eminem Split").
That time is now. Producer Alchemist, a frequent collaborator with Mobb Deep, has been given the nod by Slim Shady.
"It's a real step up for me. I'm excited, to say the least," Alchemist said Friday (May 13) in New York.
Alchemist is managed by Em's manager, Paul Rosenberg, and Al's brother Neil also works with Rosenberg. The two recently called a meeting with the producer and offered him the position on the Anger Management 3 Tour, which he gladly accepted (see "Eminem, 50, Lil Jon, G-Unit, D12 Team Up For Anger Management 3 Tour This Summer"). Although fans know Al largely from his production work for such artists as the Mobb and Jadakiss, he's been a DJ for years.
"From day one, before getting with Mobb, I used to roll with Cypress Hill," he said. "I used to roll heavy with Muggs, setting up the turntables, getting that onstage experience for years. Moving to New York and getting down with the Mobb, the last three or four years, I've been doing shows with them, just experiencing the adrenaline and the rush."
Al said he's also prepared for a role that may be more than just spinning records. Just like Green Lantern, he may be called on to give his input on how the show should go.
"I'mma play it by ear. This is Em's show. When it comes time, I will have my creative ideas, [but] I will also follow Em's ideas," he said. "I'm quick. I know Em's a perfectionist, and so am I. We both try to make things better. I already know all his and D12 and Obie Trice's music, but I'm studying it so I can know [the songs] like I know the Mobb stuff. I'm ready. Once I get my script, I'm on it. I'm taking this real serious now. I want to be the best DJ I can be, just like I want to be the best producer I can be."
Going on tour doesn't mean Alchemist is going to slow up on beats, though. He says he'll have plenty of time to do both.
"Anybody who knows anything about touring knows there's a lot of downtime, a lot of long tour bus rides. I'm already loading up for the drives. I'll have more than enough stuff to do. Creative people vibe off each other. If I'm in a circle where I see Fif and Em and Jon everyday, that puts more juice into me. I remember when I was on the Smokin' Grooves Tour with Freddie Foxxx and Gang Starr. I was making beats on the back of the Cypress bus. I remember the energy. This is gonna be the 2005 version of that."
Twista, Sheek Louch, Scarface, Tony Yayo and Pharoahe Monch are among the MCs he has already worked with. Lil Jon has also approached him about working with Lil' Scrappy. Meanwhile, Al and Mobb Deep are going to keep flooding the mixtape circuit because of their competitive natures.
"I been just dropping joints on the streets. To the mixtapes, to the DJs," he said. "To me, that's what's it's all about. Instead of me waiting to compile a bunch of joints, make an album and do numbers first week, through this period of time when I don't have an album, I want them to feel like these guys are the truth. Me and the Mobb have so many joints. We dropped this joint called 'I Got This.' I don't know what we're going to do with the record, but for now it's just a record to represent us for the summertime. If I have to take a little loss and just give it to the people, it serves its purpose. When I hear something hot on the radio, I feel like I gotta drop something next week."