Grammy award-winning producer and one-third of venerable hip-hop icons Dilated Peoples, Evidence is regarded by many as a legend of the scene. He has warranted enough pulling power to enlist some of hip hop’s cover stars to contribute lyrics to his second solo LP and debut for Rhymesayers.
Grammy award-winning producer and one-third of venerable hip hop icons Dilated Peoples, Evidence is regarded by many as a legend of the scene. With production credits on Kanye West’s ‘College Dropout’, he has warranted enough pulling power to enlist some of hip hop’s cover stars to contribute lyrics to his second solo LP and debut for Rhymesayers (the label behind releases from Atmosphere, Brother Ali and MF DOOM amongst others), ‘Cats & Dogs’.
With appearances from the likes of Slug from Atmosphere, Wu Tang’s Raekwon, Aloe Blacc, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, Aesop Rock, Krondon and production from the likes of The Alchemist, DJ Premier and DJ Babu, ‘Cats & Dogs’ has been pencilled in as a genuine event in the world of hip-hop this year.
A lot of time has passed since Evidence’s last release ‘The Layover EP‘, and it is clear from the start that it has been time well spent. What is most satisfying about ‘Cats & Dogs’ is its consistency; here we are presented with a natural demonstration of boom bap instrumental sensibility married with witty rhyme schemes. Evidence’s brutal honesty comes to the fore as he dissects his own life and goes deeper and opens up more than ever before. This, while maintaining his characteristic flow, deadpan delivery and sincere gravitas that has earned him the tag of ‘Mr. Slow Flow‘.
The singles ‘To Be Continued’ and ‘You’ have the expected head nodding effect with a pitch perfect combination of vocal delivery and beats. The third single, ‘It Wasn’t Me’, is the obligatory self-congratulatory track which, if listened to more than once, borders on the self-indulgent. One misgiving would be that ‘Same Folks’ featuring Fashawn, is only a bonus track on the album, a shame as it is by far one of Evidence’s most catchy tunes. Nevertheless, ‘Strangers’ features production that resembles a certain DJ Shadow in all the right ways. And as for track 13: “There is no track 13 on purpose. The first line of ‘To Be Continued’ starts ’10 commandments, 24 hours, the 13th floor was missing from the towers…’ For me to leave it [the 13th track] blank and then explain why in the first line of the next track to me is genius.”
Clearly not lacking in confidence, Evidence has come up with a truthful, hard-hitting album, moulding together content, rhymes and production into one cohesive whole, and making it Evidence’s most established and successful release to date, a laudable fact considering his already worshipped status.
Watch Evidence’s brand new video for ‘It Wasn’t Me’ here