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Voir Dire by Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist

The duo proudly showcase their chemistry, cementing them as one of the best rapper, producer duos in recent years.

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt and Producer The Alchemist have been collaborating for a little over a decade now and with collabs like “E. Coli” and “Wind in My Sails” — both of which are two of their best songs — a full album was almost inevitable.

AL has been teasing a collab album with Earl since 2019, saying that their album was already out on YouTube under fake names but no one has been able to find it. Four years later, we have an official album between the two and the secret album has faded in obscurity.

“Voir Dire” came out on Aug. 25, 2023 on Gala Music but it wouldn’t see a release to major streaming platforms for another month. When it finally came to streaming services the tracklist had been altered to have three new songs in place of three songs from the original release.

This is an incredibly annoying change as the songs that have been removed are amazing and the only way to listen to them is through a streaming service that no one has ever heard of. All of this aside, the album sounds great as expected, featuring some classic Alchemist production and some of Earl’s best rapping ever.

The album kicks off with “100 High Street.” The beat is comprised of strings that sound like they’ve been ripped straight out of a movie trailer from the 60s and drums that sound like they’ve been submerged underwater which on most songs would be a very weird choice but it works perfectly with Earl’s rapping style.

The next song, “Vin Skully,” is when Earl really flexes his writing. His constant references to baseball that come off as effortless paired with his unrelenting internal rhyme schemes would already make a great song but when his verse starts he drops the baseball terms and gives some incredibly poignant bars about his past struggles with depression and alcoholism dropping lines like, “I remember the ghost inside the crib hosing down the problem with gin and tonic,” and “How to stay afloat in a bottomless pit, the trick is to stop fallin.’” As if all of this wasn’t enough he also raps all of this over one the grooviest beats he’s ever touched with a true earworm-like quality

“My Brother, The Wind,” is easily one of the best tracks either of these two artists have ever worked on which makes it hurt so much more to learn that this track is restricted to the Gala Music version of the album. This song has an interesting history because it’s actually been completed for the better half of a decade but it’s only now being officially released. Earl has been performing this song at his shows for years now under the title “Black Emperor” and now we finally have a studio version. The beat is maybe one of the most uplifting that Earl has ever rapped over, sounding like a sunny summer day. If you’re familiar with Earl’s music in the slightest then you know that his production usually isn’t this happy but if you know his music that well then you should also know that Earl can rap over any beat thrown his way so naturally, he completely kills it on this track.

Overall this is exactly what any fan of Earl or AL expected: Great rapping and beats front to back. There are no low spots on this album and the high spots are some of the highest either of these artists have ever had which cements this project as another classic in their discographies.

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About the Contributor
Jake Williams, Journalist
Jake Williams is a junior at Pioneer and Community High School and this is his first year on staff. When not at school Jake spends his time playing video games with his friends, building sets for PTG, coaching flag football at WideWorld Sports Center, and listening to an unhealthy amount of music. Jake is looking forward to talking about and reviewing music in his first year on the staff of The Communicator.

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