This Thing of Ours EP Review


James Kilcoyne, Staff Reporter

March 30, 2021, marked the most recent release from legendary hip-hop producer The Alchemist called This Thing of Ours featuring a plethora of artists, the most popular artist being Earl Sweatshirt, originating from the collective Odd Future. This Thing of Ours is the first album of its kind since Bread in 2018. They both consist of 4 songs and the instrumentals that were used for said songs. Today I will be reviewing This Thing of Ours, questioning if it is either a masterpiece, a dud, or somewhere in between.

The opening track “Nobles” begins with a dialog sample from the children’s movie The Neverending Story that manifests the rest of the album with optimistic, charismatic (compared to other songs that The Alchemist has produced) instrumentals that compliment the lyrics of both Navy Blue and Earl Sweatshirt. With lyrics like “Pull up, Tan Cress’ on the shoulder of a coat of arms, Told you we the best ‘til we good and gone,” referencing the record label created by Earl himself to release all of his music and bragging about being some of the self-proclaimed best rappers/artist in the music industry. This is the first time Earl has come onto a track being braggadocios and confident in several years with him being one of the most blunt and tragically spoken artist in the game. Nobles sets a positive vibe throughout the album that is extremely refreshing and new to many of his listeners who have arrived at the scene in the past five plus years.

“TV Dinners” is a truthful song about both Sideshow and Boldy James’s past of drug dealing and other illicit activities. The saxophone sample sounds unbelievably jazzy and whimsical. The first verse coming from sideshow includes lines like “Judge tried to give our asses the most, My best friend servin’ ten, eatin’ TV dinners,” of which explain the hardships of living a life like the one he was invested in. Boldy also has a very obscure bar that states “Blew a fifty on a Dwele, with girly out in LA, Tryna stick me, gotta get up earlier than Thebe,” referencing the fact that Earl Sweatshirt (his real name being Thebe) gets up early in the morning. I am not sure why I found it funny that he talks about that, but it is just very out of left field.

The best instrumental of the entire album comes on the third track, “Holy Hell”. The track samples a song from The Sopranos soundtrack, an exceedingly popular mob/mafia television show based in New Jersey that aired on HBO from 1999-2007, for the entire duration of the song. The Alchemist has always incorporated a deep, dark, funky, and jazzy feel to many of his works, with this being no exception. The instrumental is somber with lyrics to compliment it in the perfect way. Although Pink Siifu and Maxo both have a fantastic performance in the song, the instrumental really does a lot of work on the track just because of how good it is. “Loose Change” featuring Earl Sweatshirt explodes with funky horns blaring that continue throughout the tune. The track is one of my favorites from either artist in a long time, with The Alchemist taking influence from other producers like MIKE. Earl verse was remarkably interesting and the more I hear it the more I wonder what the true meaning is, something that happens a lot with his lyrical works. “You be with the boys and I’ma be with my dawgs, Blood on the Travies [Travis Scott Jordan’s], it serves as a challenge coin” being the opening lyric, is cheerful but grim at the same time, a theme with many or the bars. Overall, the whole idea of the track still brings me joy and I love it more every time I hear it.

This Thing of Ours is an EP I really enjoyed and would highly recommend, especially for people who want to get into newer wave underground hip-hop. I will be listening to this album, and its instrumentals for, quite frankly, years to come. This Thing of Ours is a solid strong 8 to a light 9 out of 10. I cannot recommend it enough and I hope more comes from every artist featured on the album.