interview EVIDENCE - The Weatherman | Review By: Conan Milne

Release Date : March 20 2007
Label : ABB Records
Rating: 4/5


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.


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