This ‘Gangrene’ article was written by Sam Bennett, a GIGsoup contributor
Gangrene, a duo comprised of veteran California producer The Alchemist and fellow West Coast musician Oh No, follow April’s Welcome To Los Santos album, created for Grand Theft Auto V, with You Disgust Me. Released through Nas’ Mass Appeal Records, the album is a raw, soulful and passionate project. Both Alchemist and Oh No are producers and rappers, so it’s no surprise that the lyrical dexterity and the effective musical choices are simultaneously up to scratch here.
Starting the album at blistering pace with Reversals, it’s immediately obvious that You Disgust Me is something to take seriously. There’s no stalling or hesitating, with intense production that sounds like it’s taken straight from a Tarantino soundtrack backing convincing deliveries from both MCs. The gritty Sheet Music, which features Mobb Deep’s Havoc and veteran Brownsville rapper Sean Price, who sadly passed away earlier this month, continues the power and energy demonstrated in the previous track.
The Man With The Horn is potentially the showcase favourite track from the album. The subtlety displayed in the production is classy, and it’s a testament to Oh No and Alchemist’s skills on the microphone that this track is so entertaining considering the sparse instrumental. The versatility in the feel of the tracks across You Disgust Me is another impressive aspect; Driving Gloves is an excellent single, with frantic, hectic production and a sharp appearance from Queens, New York MC Action Bronson.
Gangrene keep the levels high with a cohesive and consistent track-list, full of tracks like The Scrapyards and Noon Chuckas, with punchy, in your face drums and aggressive, precisely delivered raps; the experience this duo possess shines through. Finishing on The Hidden Hand, a jazzy number complete with a shrill flute and intelligent sample work, You Disgust Me is authentic, textured and distinctive.
Oh No and The Alchemist both have extensive discographies filled with excellent solo projects, and their collaborations with, and productions for, other artists also show their quality and skill. You Disgust Me feels like one of the more defined hip-hop releases of the last year; it might not be pushing boundaries as such, but the consistency in the standard of lyricism, and the sublime production choices throughout this album make it hard to find a track to skip.
This is authentic and raw, but also relevant and crisp; there are still artists making purposeful and direct hip-hop in 2015, and Gangrene have delivered one of the most impressive albums of the year.
‘You Disgust Me’ is out now through Nas’ Mass Appeal Records