In January, The Alchemist told HipHopDX about an upcoming project involving The Durag Dynasty, a collective of emcees led by Fresno, California's Planet Asia. "I’ve also got the [Durag] Dynasty [Clique] project and that’s going to be coming out of left field, man," said Alc, also noting that he produced the album entirely.
This month, HipHopDX contacted Planet Asia to get some more information. "[It] will be one of the best albums of 2012," said the former Interscope Records artist, whose Black Belt Theatre album releases on February 28.
Asia praised the production work from the fellow California native who worked on his album, The Medicine. "Every producer who makes a lot of albums, they have that album where it’s like, 'He gave them beats.' Kind of like [DJ] Premier with the Group Home [Livin' Proof] album. To me, that first Group Home album is the best beats Premier ever made. Sometimes I just want to take that album and rap to it. The beats from that album are so fucking dope. You think, 'Damn! Why did he give them all those beats?' That’s how I feel about the Durag Dynasty album. We caught [The Alchemist] at a moment where every single beat was just that beat. Like, 'God damn.'"
Besides the beats, Asia acknowledged the album's lyrics. "The rhymes we kicking was just on a level that…That’s a classic. I could honestly say we made a classic. We made a classic. We made a classic. Durag Dynasty is a fucking classic. Straight like that. That’s me, Killer Ben and TriState. That’s Durag Dynasty. That’s definitely the best album for 2012, as far as Hip Hop goes. It’s gonna be hard to top."
Although label information is still pending, the former major label artist perhaps alluded to sampling and guest-work when he said, "All I could say is that an album like this would have cost a lot of money on a major label. That’s all I could tell you. It would’ve cost a lot of money, if you know what I mean. [Laughing]"
HipHopDX will keep you updated.
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine