QUICKSPINS: The Great Escape – Larry June & The Alchemist

Veteran producer The Alchemist teams up with friend Larry June to bless our ears in time for Easter.

American record producer, DJ, rapper and songwriter The Alchemist released his latest collaboration album on March 31, this time with San Francisco rapper and affiliate Larry June. It was only a matter of time before the release of this project, since The Alchemist has been on a collab album streak. 

The legendary producer dropped The Elephant Man’s Bones in August 2022 with Roc Marciano, as well as Continuance with Curren$y in February of the same year, the latter of which features rapper Larry June. 

Curren$y also appears on The Great Escape, teaming up with Joey Bada$$ to feature on the penultimate song “Barragán Lighting” — a personal favourite on the 15-track project.

The Great Escape is already in the top five of the year for me. Some people may say that Larry June has a lazy monotone flow and lacklustre pen game. Real ones, including myself, know that his voice, bars and flow are perfectly homogeneous with the smooth soul loops that The Alchemist concocted. 

The album paints a perfect picture of what Larry June is doing after his success. It’s exactly what is displayed on the album cover: driving around California’s bay area in a classy expensive car. It feels like a victory lap around the hills in a Porsche 911, and The Alchemist is piecing everything together in the passenger seat.

The Alchemist’s curation for lyrical talent is always outstanding, grabbing artists that are forever slept on like Boldy James, Jay Worthy, and Curren$y. It always makes my week whenever I see Action Bronson create anything, especially when he teams up with The Alchemist, and this time it’s for his feature on “Solid Plan”, and it’s as if his best bud made the beat for him. The strange ’80s synth had the loop sounding like it could be found on a hypothetical deluxe version of Blue Chips 7000

This kicks off a three-banger streak. The following song, “Palisades, CA” is just gross, easily the best song on the record. It keeps the same uniform vibe of the album, feeling bright yet mysterious and dangerous. Big Sean, who I usually find corny and think of as someone who does too much, absolutely popped off. The Detroit rapper uses a crazy triplet flow while talking about his new luscious long hair and how he tells the truth “like a polygraph in a booth.” A true masterpiece. 

The third elite song in the streak, “Summer Reign,” makes me want to reminisce on the beach with the wind in my hair, maybe with a tear rolling down my cheek. And it’s all because of the wawa-guitar loop paired with the God-given voice of Ty Dolla $ign.

All in all, there is not one skip on this album. No song is lower than a 7.5/10. That being said, The Alchemist will forever be on the hip-hop producer Mount Rushmore, and this album definitely deserves a listen.

Trial Track: “Palisades, CA”

Score: 8.5/10

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