This is the 11th full-length album from Chicago emcee Novatore. Emerging as a member of the Infamous Crew, he’s also built up an impressive solo career since 2015 by dropping 4 EPs & a collaborative effort with A.M. Early Morning called Kingdom of Criminality on top of the all the previous LPs that he’s dropped along the way. But coming off Living in the End Times only 9 months backs on Veteran’s Day, the Chi-Town lyricist is now cooking up Alchemy & Black Magic.
After the “Immortal in Memory” intro, the first song “Rewind” featuring RJ Payne is a gully boom bap opener produced by C-Lance with both wordsmith’s talking about trying to figure this shit whereas “Horses of Instruction” keeps it dusty sonically to point out that he’s been a menace for nearly a decade already. “Suicide Choir” featuring both Ill Bill & Lord Goat of Non Phixion finds the trio over a sample-based boom bap instrumental delivering lyrical annihilation, but then “Death to the False” scathingly attacks every fraudulent person out here.
“Black Magic” gives off an uncanny boom bap atmosphere courtesy of Stu Bangas discussing how much he’s elevated from the basement since he started out that is until Lord Goat returns on “Self Destruct” alongside A.M. Early Morning ruggedly talking about sending their goons up to your crib. “Dark World 2023” featuring JakProgresso is essentially a remake of a joint he did 5 years back showing the evolution of his craft just before “The Last Illusion” comes through with a delightful horrorcore/boom bap hybrid that Johnny Slash cooked up.
Moving on to the last couple 6 & a half minutes of the album, “Blood Brothers” featuring Novatore’s brother G-Pap showcases a back-&-forth chemistry between both siblings over a mobster-esque loop as well as kicks & snares declaring that the Infamous has hopefully been reawaken/reunited leading into “Spell Caster” featuring 20 Elbridge tying it all up in the form of both MCs on top of a mystically raw beat comparing themselves to sorcerers with their pens.
I maintain that Novatore’s been continuously outdoing himself in recent memory with each album he delivers, yet Alchemy & Black Magic is the guy’s most consistent solo effort since Embrace the Darkness II: Explorers of Experience couple years ago. The traditional production style & gritty lyricism we’ve come to know him for make their way onto here except the performances from the guests are a lot stronger personally.