The Weatherman |
Release Date : March 20 2007
Label : ABB Records
Dub Quotable: The disgruntled LA native wears his heart on his sleeve
at all times, and his music is made increasingly relatable as a result.
It’s the job of the weatherman to inform people that, although the skies may
appear foreboding, the storm will ultimately pass. On his solo debut, Dilated
Peoples’ Evidence reinterprets this role. Delivering a dark, intensely
atmospheric debut, the respected but neglected MC weathers the sort of
personal turmoil that shows no indication of disappearing.
The album’s opener, “I Know,” is compellingly downtrodden. Over a crisp
drum loop Ev speaks up for the overlooked artist chafed by industry
expectations. “Some put in work, never reap any benefits,” he woefully
states. Understandably jaded, the Peoples’ voice instructs loyalists to,
“Put both middle fingers up/Point ‘em at the industry,” before adding,
“Not yet, but when the cat’s gone y’all be missing me.” A downbeat female
vocalist mirrors Evidence’s disappointed sentiments on the lonely chorus,
chiming, “Though they don’t see my mind, they won’t stop my movement.”
As the album continues, emotions heighten. “Down in New York City” is a
noir love letter to the jungle that birthed Hip-Hop. Although fond, Evidence
nonetheless can’t help linking the city to tragedy, as it was also the
birthplace of his late mother. Over haunting coos, he spits, “The best from
the West was born from a Queen of the East/God bless her soul, Rest in Peace.”
Alchemist’s fuzzy sample and soothing whispers on “Letyourselfgo,”
meanwhile, sees Ev reference strung-out former friends. “I don’t wanna keep
in touch/I wanna start fresh,” he pleads.
While there’s no faulting Evidence’s passionate lyricism, his Achilles Heel is
one of his most important instruments: his voice. The MCs smoky monotone will
lose the attention of some, particularly on plodding numbers like the static
“Mr. Slow Flow.” It’s a testament to Evidence’s rhyme book that the
vast detail in his verses frequently shadows such potential foibles. The
disgruntled LA native wears his heart on his sleeve at all times, and his
music is made increasingly relatable as a result.
Perhaps the main reason Ev can’t banish the black clouds is his
in-suppressible desire to be universally respected. His artistic mentality is
best summarized on the rapid-paced, DJ Khalil helmed “All Said & Done.”
Here, a warbling chorus croons, “I’ve seen so many faces/I wonder if they
know my name?” Ironically, E-V’s strictly brooding subject matter ensures
that such widespread recognition will only evade him. This will frustrate the
Weatherman, but if the doomed forecast results in Hip-Hop this insightful
listeners will persevere with the storm and share the artist’s burden.