By Stefan Walczak
Like a blast of magic angel dust in your face, producer Oh No and rapper emcee The Alchemist, the creative duo behind the collaborative moniker Gangrene, introduce Vodka & Ayahuasca, a psychedelic trip full of colorful beats and furious raps.
Oh No, an underground producer, has already released several albums on his own, taking almost complete control of each release. He is also the younger brother of prolific hip-hop producer Madlib. Since Oh No’s debut release The Disrupt, he has been propelled into the realm of some of the top hip-hop producers of the 2000’s. The second half of Gangrene, The Alchemist, has been involved in hip-hop since the late 1990’s. His work includes spinning as the official tour DJ of Eminem during Eminem’s Anger Management tour, working with his friend and fellow rapper, Prodigy, and now most recently, with Oh No as Gangrene.
Gangrene, as a medical term, is a life-threatening condition, and occurs when blood circulation is cut off from a massive area of skin tissue, causing the cells in the immediate area to die, and results in a shriveled hunk of flesh. It is a pretty horrific sight to see when looking up pictures of the condition and one must wonder why Oh No and The Alchemist found it fitting to call themselves Gangrene. Together, they have already released several EP’s and one LP before V&A, aptly titled, Gutter Water. The grimey and gritty theme that permeates in Gangrene’s discography can also be found on their newest LP. “Dump Truck”, which features a guest verse by Prodigy, is a prime example of this.
In terms of beats, Oh No’s palette of sounds reigns supreme throughout this release. Oh No is on top of his game and his beats for every track are masterfully crafted into an uninterrupted mix of hazy soundscapes and drug references. Between the deep inhales and hard drinking that is portrayed in Vodka & Ayahuasca, Oh No makes plenty of moments on the album memorable. With the presence of hard hitting lyrics from The Alchemist, Gangrene seems to be the perfect match of tight, urban drug-beats and loud, murderous verses. If you are a fan of psychedelic hip-hop that is both a melodic array of spacey beats and rowdy, unforgiving raps, check out Gangrene’s newest, Vodka & Ayahuasca.