Lord Steppington is the album by Alchemist and Evidence (a.k.a. the Step Brothers) that many feel is long overdue. Not only is it finally coming; it’s coming at what feels like an appropriate time. Hip-hop became re-obsessed with minimalism in 2013, which is a style that’s one of Alchemist’s many fortes. Lord Steppington wasn’t made amidst fan demand or circumstance. The idea came together naturally, the same way Evidence and Alchemist have sounded together in the decades’ worth of collaborations. “We wouldn’t do it for any other reason,” Evidence says about the project. ”I think the reason we’re doing it is just…part of this embedded lifestyle that happens everyday: Wake up, coffee, bike path, studio, make beats, record raps, take picture of sunset on Instagram. This shit is like a 20-year Groundhog Day.”
An Alchemist beat is definitive, but the producer has a variety of styles. Lord Steppington has him touching on classic sampling (“More Wins”), slight trips in psychedelia (the guitar-backed “Byron G,” Evidence’s lone production credit on the album), and straight-up raucousness (“Step Masters”). It’s crazy, but it never falls into chaos thanks in part to Evidence’s vocal marksmanship.
The long-awaited collaboration is also a family affair. Frequent collaborators and outside-the-studio friends Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Blu, Styles P, and others assist on Step Brothers. XXL spoke with Alchemist and Evidence about their relationship as artists, their inspirations, and the duo’s favorite moments on the album, track-by-track. Check out what the hilarious duo had to say. —Brian Josephs