EVIDENCE(November 2011) | Interview By:
Evidence, member of the group Dilated Peoples, has established
himself as a solo artist that drops consistent material. Dubcnn.com linked
up with the West Coast stalwart to discuss his new album Cats and Dogs, his
new label home Rhymesayers and the emcee/producer approaches the recording
Evidence is a humble cat that is thriving in the crowded Hip Hop landscape
and you would be wise to take a few moments to catch up with Mr. SlowFlow
Dubcnn: This is Dubcnn.com. I have the pleasure to hook up with the one an
only…you know him because he has the dope voice, Evidence. How are you
Evidence: What up, what up? I’m chilling. Thanks for having me on.
Dubcnn: No problem. So I know you are promoting the new project,
Cats and Dogs but before you get into that I know you are on a new label
home and I didn’t want to put too much emphasis on it…but I wanted to ask
you what’s the environment like with where you are at? Is it different? Does
Evidence: As far as creatively it doesn’t really affect me. If you look at
the history and what I’ve been doing…it started with ABB then went to
Capitol then back to ABB and Decon and now this. I think the music hasn’t
changed, regardless of the label.
The difference right now is that I have been on both. I have been on a major
and an independent. There are different levels of independent (labels) and
I’m learning that. That’s no disrespect to Decon or ABB because they are
both amazing but Rhymesayers are probably the highest level of an
independent that I have witnessed. Just a lot of ideas that the artists come
up with and at the same time having a system in place that allow me to do
certain other things that are a little closer to what it was like…not like
it was on Capital but leaning more towards that direction.
Dubcnn: OK. So along those lines, and we have talked a couple of
times in the years past, what are you experiencing now that a couple of
years ago you would have said, ‘Nah, I’ll never travel to this place or have
these opportunities open up to me.’ What type of things are you doing that
you never thought you’d be doing at this point?
Evidence: Musically or business wise? I’m not quite sure what you
Dubcnn: All of the above. Whether musically, personally or whatever
it is. You expound on it.
Evidence: I didn’t project to have a solo career. It was more like I wanted
to do a solo record. More like an outlet for things that weren’t necessarily
fit on a Dilated record. Like the loss of my mom…I tried to put it on those
records (Dilated Peoples) but it wasn’t the time or place. It wasn’t like I
didn’t have the open arms from my group because they welcomed anything I
wanted to do but that’s the same with Rakaa because he is politically driven
at times. He doesn’t want to speak on those things on a Dilated record
because he knows Babu and I don’t necessarily share the same view on that.
So a solo record for both of us was a way of being off the label and being
able to express ourselves and that was it.
In the process Rakaa took a little long than we expected to drop his first
solo so I did one and then did another one while I was waiting…well, not
waiting but staying busy. Then he dropped it and by that time I had signed a
deal with Rhymesayers and that was coming next. It’s just kind of
crazy…putting out a mixtape with DJ Skee [The
Layover] and Dubcnn really helped out a lot and the I Don’t
Need Love project [download
here] and certain things like that kind of solidified to people
that we’re staying active and I believe in what I’m doing as a solo artist
as well as in a group. So to achieve something that broad, I didn’t really
expect it and I didn’t realize it was building like that and just tried to
work it via touring and being on the net and stuff like that. It’s been kind
of a blessing to be honest. I’m still Dilated, first and foremost but this
outlet and the solo stuff I’m doing is really good therapy for me as well.
Dubcnn: Now when you speak about the current project, Cats and Dogs
talk about the recording process. You have the track, You with DJ Premier
which is a dope track. Talk about recording and narrowing it down. You’re a
producer yourself and in the past when we talked you said, “Yeah, I produce
but I focus on bringing in whoever has the hottest tracks, we're going to
put those on there.” Talk about the project and what people can expect and
how you started to narrow it down.
Evidence: I talked to my friend, Fred Wreck last night on the phone…he’s
done some work with Dre and stuff…and he said they have a motto in the
studio “Your Ego is not your Amigo.” And it’s the realist sh*t. Just because
I make beats doesn’t mean that they are going to go on a record. Especially
when I’m hanging out with Alchemist and Premier and all these people. It
doesn’t make sense for me to want more publishing on a record or just more
credit so that when people read the liner notes to see that I did it. Not to
be on the humble because some people say, ‘I like your stuff ‘ or whatever
but sometimes it happens. I have a song on Cats and Dogs that I felt like
that could fit next to one of them. The songs Cold Weather and Don’t Hate .
On the Weatherman, I felt like I know, Hot and Cold and I Still Love You fit
well next to those people so if I got the right beat then I’ll do it but I
have to make sure that I’m thinking like a producer. Not thinking through my
ego because it’s my record. That’s really the process that I’m doing with
this record. There’s probably 10 songs that I wrote by myself and five or
six that have other people on them. You come up with a chorus and make sure
it’s well rounded which is a different process then when you are splitting
verses with somebody. (For example) Rakaa may do the chorus, Babu comes with
an idea and it’s more of a collaborative effort. Taking the time to focus
and write is not a bad idea.
And straight up, I can lose perspective on a beat when I’m making it because
I’m sitting there chopping the loop up forever, wanting the pieces to be
seamless, know the break it came from and know how long the bassline is and
EQ it right. So by the time the track is done I’m burnt on it because I’ve
been working on the sh*t forever. And somebody else hears it, like Apathy
and …. I was tired of it (the track) and he was so excited that I was like,
‘Take it.’ Sometimes when I get beats from other people I don’t hear the
process that it took to make it because they just give me a whole piece of
music and I get excited about it. It just sparks something a little faster.
Dubcnn: Makes sense. Let folks know because the album is on
Rhymesayers…where they can go to stay on top of what’s going on with
Evidence and what you have going on.
Rhymesayers.com/evidence is the most accurate with tour dates
and what’s going on and all the links. Preorders did really well. Overseas
as well. Bonus tunes on iTunes. It’s going to be really dope, the whole
project. Super excited with the way that Rhymesayers is connecting
everything together. I’m into that. I’m into closing and getting the vision
through without trying to be obnoxious. I think this is just a
combination…they have me on the road everyday. They had me on the road the
last month or so with Atmosphere and I pick back up Tuesday for another
three weeks. Then I think they are taking almost the whole roster to Europe.
And that’s going to be crazy as well. So literally until the end of November
I don’t have a day off.
Dubcnn: Well stay busy and I appreciate you giving a little time
man. We gotta hook this up again.
Evidence: Good looking out homie. I appreciate y’alls support and it is very
well noticed and noted.