Step Brothers (Evidence & Alchemist) - Lord Steppington

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4.40

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Alchemist & Evidence fill "Lord Steppington" with obscure references, but at its heart the album is a mix of quality, mosaic style production and fun rhymes.

In the 2008 comedy Step Brothers, lead characters Brennan Huff and Dale Doback can alternately be found wearing tuxedos to a job interview, tea-bagging a drum set and filming a Rap video entitled “Boats ‘N Hoes.” There are no Academy Award aspirations, but the film serves as a cult classic of sorts by providing a vehicle for the slapstick, improvisational comedy of actors Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. It’s random and crude at times, but fully appreciated by its intended audience. Recording together as Step Brothers, childhood friends Alchemist and Evidence more or less operate in the same fashion with their collaborative effort, Lord Steppington.

“If we ain’t on the same page by now, it’s never happenin’ / Decoding all these messages is only for the passengers / Coded for the massacre, when it occurs / I ain’t condoning it, best believe I’m owning them furs…” Ev rhymes on “Dr. Kimble.” By then, he and Al have already referenced Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing,” the ‘60s crime drama The Fugitive and hall of fame New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. If you’re the type who enjoys falling down the rabbit hole of a good Google search, then connecting the dots between all the randomness adds another level to the listening experience. If you somehow know that both Alchemist and Evidence shared the same childhood doctor (Dr. George Kimble), it may elicit a chuckle. If none of the above is true, Lord Steppington is still provides thoroughly enjoyable material.

Featured guests such as Whooliganz member Scott Caan, Odd Future’s Domo Genesis and Dilated Peoples’ Rakaa Iriscience balance things out for those who prefer things a bit more straight-laced. But the duration of Lord Steppington finds both Alchemist and Evidence spitting non-sequiturs such as, “Human bones from a bum hold up the table / Money talks like spaghetti sauce with the basil” (“Legendary Mesh”). It all makes about as much sense as Guru referencing Bruce Willis and the popularity of lemonade in the same verse on Gang Starr’s “DWYCK,” but it works incredibly well.

Over the last five or so years—most notably on 2012’s Russian Roulette—Alchemist has shown a penchant for applying the techniques of collage making to his music. He uses this method in both his production and rhyme form, while Evidence’s understated, deliberate cadence bends to the overall haphazard nature of the album. So while you don’t get Ev in full on Cats & Dogs mode, he’s not above breaking out into a rendition of The Jackson 5’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” then circling back to chastise the shallow nature of Los Angeles. Alchemist follows suit by transitioning to a completely different beat two minutes into the song. The end result, “Swimteam Rastas,” is just as incoherent as the entire project. And just to add to the fun, Al makes a reference to Prestige Worldwide’s greatest hit.

Despite its buttoned-up title, you won’t find any heavy-handed commentary on Lord Steppington. The cut and pasted nature lends itself to members of the current ADD generation and fans of Alchemist’s more recent work, but the project still adheres to the principles of superior Hip Hop. Evidence plays the straight man in this double act. He seamlessly shifts between brief musings on the Rap world, his place in it and pretty much nothing at all. And when he’s not threatening to chop your nipple off or singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Iko, Iko,” Alchemist comes through with the requisite mix of stout basslines, instrumental and vocal samples. It all adds up to a quality album that manages not to take itself too seriously without resorting to being dumb.

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106 Comments

  • Daniel

    Almost hated this album the first time, the second time it grew on me heavily. Clearly an album that grown on you so be patient. Not 5 but Close to a 4. Good album but no AOTY. Blasphemy, Pinata, Directors Of Photography are better albums in my opinion.

  • Because The Internet

    Dope ass LP..

  • lrdstpngtn

    oh wow you gave this 4 and dop aka the most boring aoty a 4.5 wtf

  • sonny rene

    This album is amazing. Alchemist is an amazing producer, but very underrated as an emcee. Evidence murders every track, the features on this album all deliver as well, especially Roc Marci, Action, Syles P, Fashawn, Psycho Les, Fargo, Rakaa & Blu. Lord Steppington is the best hip hop album of the year so far, period point blank.

  • Gary

    Amazing record - Evidence is one of the best period.

  • Outlandish Kreationz

    Some of yall are some no-name, lame ass haters lol. Shut ya bitch ass up. Actin like ALC dont bring that FIRE. Man please. GET A NEW SOUND SYSTEM. AND WE KNOW/HE KNOWS HE CANT RAP LIKE YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER SO CATCH UP YALL ARE SLOW.

    • Anonymous

      I own Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro's with a quality amp. This album still sounds like shit, BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCTION. So fuck off and get your own ears checked - buy a better sound system too. Those 50 dollar Logitech 2.1 bullshit speakers ain't good at all, if they make these beats sound good.

  • P

    the community on this site is a joke. ya'll hand out 5's like they're business cards. this is a decent project, but it is in no way a 5. 3-3.5 maybe. it's very repetitive. 5 should mean classic. stop giving anything decent a 5 and maybe the ratings on this site can be taken seriously.

  • yourfavrapper

    don trip and starlito the only stepbrothers in my book

  • VinBoony

    Most rap fans are the biggest sukkas ever. This fake jew is so overated. I'd rather hear real soul and funk gods like havoc black milk even appolo same soundin beats, this guy is set up by the people who run the game the fake evil jews.

  • NeoJeeoh

    This is a solid album. 4/5. I can appreciate where Alchemist is going and can even trend his evolution over the years through his lyricism. There's obvious parody and lack of seriousness... It insults you and forces you to wonder if they're just fucking around one track, and then smack you with the hard by the time it reaches Step Masters. Evidence has always been consistent - no question there, but I won't comment on Ev further since I'm a biased Dilated fan since the Platform (on tape). For the peeps that skip tracks: I recommend trying again and paying full attention, and listen to it end-to-end... Call me old fashioned but I believe that's the whole purpose of an album, as opposed to a single track "banger"... And you're not supposed to like everything instantly - it's supposed to sink in to potentially develop an acquired taste... but then you can decide. This true for all forms of art. But, I suppose that's just a condition of living in an era of a generation growing up with a "Like" button and ego-centric merketing.

    • Anonymous

      i always save the first listen for the album when i can afford to cop the cd or vinyl and sit down and get fucked up and listen to the whole thing one time through first. then i bring it around, bump it in the whip, come home go through the tracks that knock loud on the sub. and after some time has passed and multiple spins have taken place i formulate an opinion. that's the way i believe one should do it, not like a one and done faggot.

  • RUss

    Good ... like track 11,"Tomorrow" the best. another good album put out by Rhymesayers Ent.

  • Anonymous

    longest mouthwash lol

  • FUCK THAT

    No way is this album a 4. Fuck outta here. Sick and tired of Alchemist's "new" whack ass production! It's gettin' old REAL quick. And, Alchemist rhyming is just a fuckin joke. Stick to producing, AL, even though you can barely even do that anymoreSMFH!

  • Zap Sacever

    Wow, Evidence is really in perfect form on this one, he goes hard on every single track, too bad Alchemist can't keep up (as a rapper, production is somewhat perfect, appart for some generic and totally uninspired beats). Otherwise, a dope listen from begining to end. It's practicaly the begining of the year, but this record might just find its way on the lists 12 months from now. Best tracks are the 4 consecutive on the record: from Mums in the Garage to Step Brothers. Roc Marci, Fashawn and Bronson are the only featured artists to be on par with Evidence. It's a 4/5, but I give it a five for starting a year in hip hop so optimisticaly.

  • paul

    this album is dope from the start and finish.

  • chi

    dope is the designation for this one..

  • carAnthony

    Keep doin' your thang Alc, one of the best ever. So much h8 in the comment section, smh. 4/5

  • Extremely one-sided fan

    Best album of the year. Won't even consider any other albums. Unless, of course, it's Ev, Al or the Dilated gang.

  • Drucifer

    Alchemist as a rapper has the ability to totally ruin any project.

    • Anonymous

      As a producer too. He raps better than makes beats, which is sad. Not a artist who will be remembered from his good quality music. He has hardly any good beats or songs.

  • Adam

    Biggest Alchemist fan out there. This production is as good as any project he has done. The album is overall a little light on content, so I didn't give it 5 stars. Ev's rhymes and style are in full effect and the guest list is full of veterans and new comers. I was really surprised when I saw some posts below that don't like Alchemist or aren't a fan of his beats. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in terms of hip hop producers I'd be hard pressed to find one that puts out the quality, quantity, different styles as well as puts new artists on. Keep doing your thing Step-Brothers!

    • narcotik

      its all hating just to hate......if you dont like his new shit dont fuckin listen to it.....but to come on here and tell how butt hurt you are about alc latest work....might as well just kill yourself now and save the world the pain of dealing with jerk offs that dont know what good music is

    • Bizzalls

      Stop replying to yourself, hahaha"We Gon' Make It??" DOG, that was like 13 years ago!! That was the OLD Alchemist. That's when The Alchemist was ILL. He is close to horrible now!

    • ShadowPrecinct

      ^^ I totally agree with this. I'm also surprised by how much Alchemist has grown as a rapper and a producer within the last five years. I think his work on Rare Chandeliers outshines Bronson, and I'm a huge Actiion fan. He's been making classics for a long time now, (We Gon Make It anyone??), so it's unfortunate cats don't respect him as much as they should.

  • Big Bad Barrio18, you fools!

    ALC is definitely overrated. It seems everybody just jumps on this guys cock as soon as he drops a new joint. ALC could fart on wax and everybody would be yelling, "ALC's the truth!!", "ALC's the greatest" and all that bullshit. This "Step Brothers" album is not a good album at all, will never be considered a classic and it's definitely not my taste of hip-hop. Also, that Albert Einstein album was wack as fuck too. The beats were shit and P's flow get's slooower and slooower every year, plus his lyrics are weak now. I guess it's dope to those who have low standards and are unable to recognize QUALITY hip-hip music.

  • cinavenom

    Alchemist is a machine, he can't be stopped. Just keeps making more and more great music.

    • Anonymous

      Haha, this comment made me laugh. It's clearly bad trolling, because Alchemist really doesn't make any good music. :D His reputation is great, but that's about it. There's nothing to back it up.

  • Devil Is A Lie

    Okay, after listening... DX got it right. 4/4. Love the album.

  • KILLALCHEMIST

    Can somebody please kill The Alchemist?!?!?! I am so fucking sick of his wack ass beats!!!! GOD!!! They just get weirder and weirder!! STOP IT ALC. You are ruining your fucking legacy, you jackass!! This LP is the biggest disappointment in years! Fuck this trash. And Evidence's gay ass sounding voice now. What happened to his voice??

    • Bobby

      ^^ I agree for the most part. That's how Alchemist is now. He used to be the shit! Dude's been one of my favorite producers for like 12 years! Not the shit he's done lately, though. Some of it is dope, but it's just not nearly as good as his old stuff, bottom-line.

    • Anonymous

      I'm not a fan of Alc's beats either, because I think he makes only a few good beats here and there. This album has a one decent beat, which is the intro track - I liked 'More Wins'. Any other track on this has to be skipped and I'll just read the lyrics online so I enjoy good lyricism without wack beats.

    • Anonymous

      Go fuck yourself

    • Anonymous

      STFU DUMB ASS!

  • Ward

    Dope Album, I saw them live one week ago, that was DOPE! Alchemist is becoming one of the greatest ever, and Evidence good as always!

  • TaZzZ

    You can tell Bronson's impact on Al's rhyming, he's always had a really collaged, non-sequiter rhyme style but his one-liners have stepped up big time. Ev has such a great voice and flow, this shit can't miss

  • Vdub

    This album has been on repeat since I've got it!! Dope lyrics from dope emcees/producers!! Round of applause please!!

  • Anonymous

    Tip is very smooth, PHIFE IS VERY HYPE too dope

  • Peezy

    Dope. Real Hip Hop. Great Production and word play.

  • Matt

    Evidence has become one of my all time favorite rappers over the last decade. He's just consistently dope, I can't name one wack song with his name attached to it. And if Alchemist isn't the best producer out these days, he's at least the hardest working. I bought this, as you should. If you don't like this album, you just don't like good rap music. Straight up. This shit is dope from start to finish.

    • bizzalls

      You don't know what the fuck you're talking about by saying "if you don't like this, you don't like good hip hop." NO DUMBASS. These beats are absolutely horrible. Alchemist has officially fallen off. Just admit it!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Best album so far, sick beats and the message doesn't take itself too serious. serious wordsmiths at work.

  • Anonymous

    wow this is good the alchemist is a genius

  • Anonymous

    Listened to it a few times today and its great. Evidence WOW

  • Mood

    been waiting for this project for ages and i was scared to be disappointed a little bit. But Damn! This is so good. They're both probably on top of their games for the last couple of years, Ev' progression over the last decade is amazing, this is dedication for the art.

  • Anonymous

    whole album is dope from start to finish.

  • funk doc spock

    It's the unskippable!!!

  • frankxuno

    havent stop blasting since i recieved my vinyl. no skips.

  • Anonymous

    I know this shit gonna be fiiiiire.

  • Polza11

    Pretty solid, loved the production, both rappers showed great flow and technical rap skills.

  • suckadick

    either a 5 or a 1 right?

  • elmo

    I was pretty disappointed with this album. I only liked 2 songs..The last ALC collab album I liked was the Willie the Kid joint. One Love.

    • heyyy

      no. stop acting like music is objective. I like ALCs new style. Stu Bangas has a more traditional boom-bap straight forward approach to beats. ALC has chaotic loops and growling bass lines. both unique. If you're not feeling the unorthodox beats, fine. move along. besides your boy stu bangas whole style is based on ALCs from ten years ago its called progression.

    • ALEX

      Thank you! There were literally only like two songs that were good!! Step Masters, and I forget the other one. You people are just backpacking muthafuckas who will say anything from The Alchemist and Evidence is good. Matter of fact, you dudes say anything underground is good. Always giving 5 stars out like every fuckin album is a classic. FUCK OUTTA HERE. The beats on the Machete Mode are 10 times better than this album. I would never in my life think I'd be saying that Stu Bangas beats are better than The Alchemist's. But yep, that album is FIRE compared to this unlistenable trash. Alchemist, you fuckin suck now. U SUCK!!

  • Adam

    This album is amazing. Great way to start the year off

  • yep

    that "Tomorrow" beat is smooth..

  • LA_BLUE

    these artist need to bring it if they wanna be on the level of this album, could be a possbile album of the year. shit bangs from the 1st track to the last. mos def copping this on vinyl salute to ALC AND EV!!!

  • illsmack

    5 Stars them fuckin beats are insane that Bronson track n that styles p track crazy

  • Lourdes Rush

    Lucy. even though Craig`s story is cool, on saturday I got a great Renault 5 sincee geting a check for $5941 this-past/four weeks and-just over, ten grand lass month. it's actualy the most-comfortable job I have ever had. I started this 3 months ago and immediately started bringing in minimum $71... per hour. more information, www.Tec80.Com jay has said so many things that are not true but he does it in a clever way and gets away with it

    • Anonymous

      Come on son, your comment doesn't make sense, the name doesn't fit the demographic of people on this website, no one is going to your scammy website

  • junMaf*ckn

    Alchemist is Arguably The Illest producer Doing It Right Now. This Album Is A MUST COP!

    • FUCKNO

      EL-P SHITS on Alchemist. EL-P is a God compared to Alchemist. I fuckin hate ALC now. His beats are absolute garbage. He will soon fade into obscurity with all his fuckin steaming hot trash.

    • ALC THE BEST AROUND

      He the best rite now and has been for years this album boldy james album and prodigys were all incredible. Not to mention all the other tracks he does with everyone in the game he always making tracks consistently dope

    • Anonymous

      He makes good beats only randomly.

  • Landon1688

    I'll always support evidence, he is always reliable for quality music and when alchemist is involved it only gets better. 5/5

  • Anonymous

    So we just gonna ignore that starlito and don trip did step brothers twice already?

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  • son of a sax

    This is a quality jump off for 2014. The production deserves a Busta Rhymes, OH MY GOD!!!!!

  • Zikurats

    Hip Hop . nuff said 5/5

  • mouch

    this is a must listen if you a hip-hop head

  • Lord Jamar

    These Whiteys need to stay out or OUR industry.

  • Anonymous

    "see the rich man PLAY" my bad

  • Anonymous

    bangin my head and bumpin my fists to this sh!T allday! "see the rich man" got me twistin like a featherplucker....im of to draw something,peace from ireland. 1

  • Q.E

    This album goes hard nothing more is needed to be said