Published Sep 27, 2011Never one to sit idly watching the rap landscape change, Evidence (one-third of respected Cali crew Dilated Peoples) has kept busy since the last Dilated album (2006's 20/20) by honing both his production and MCing skills on various projects, including his The Layover EP and mixtape. On highly anticipated sophomore album Cats and Dogs, and first drop on the Rhymesayers label, Evidence brings the lyrics, beats and breezy West coast aesthetic on an album that offers up something for all heads. Featuring guest spots from the likes of Aloe Blacc, Raekwon the Chef and M.O.P.'s Lil' Fame, and production work from Stepbrother homie Alchemist, Sid Roams and Preemo, Cats and Dogs proves to be yet another highlight on the resume of one of the underground's hardest working dudes. Ev holds his own with two vets (Raekwon and Ras Kass) over some Alchemist heat on "The Red Carpet" and spits some street shit with his two NYC-repping cohorts, Roc Marciano and the fresh off a bid Prodigy, on "Fame." But the standout track is definitely the DJ Premier-produced "You." Over a standard Preemo head-nodder, Evidence rides the funk, sounding right at home nestled between Premier's scratches and bass-heavy bounce. With this dope release and plenty more projects currently cooking, keep your umbrellas handy because the downpour isn't stopping anytime soon.
Cats and Dogs, your second solo effort, is coming out on Rhymesayers and you are currently in the midst of the Family Vacation Tour with Atmosphere. Describe what it's like to be a part of the Rhymesayers family and how has the tour been so far?
I'm finding that I fit in really well. It's kinda right at home, for me. It's everything I've been carving out in my solo; it's kinda what they represent already. I'm killing it and I think everyone on tour's been telling me I'm doing great. I am proud of the fact that I'm out there in front of these big crowds with no hype man, just me and a DJ, nobody backing me up and shit.
On "The Red Carpet," you link up with Rae and Ras Kass. Tell me how that track came about and how did you hook up with those guys?
Well, that one was me for a long time by myself. I wrote a really long verse. I wanted to say what I wanted to say that day and then I was trying to figure out, "do I do some MF Doom shit, just fade it out after one verse?" It was just sitting there for a while and then Alchemist had Raekwon over. Ras Kass was coming around the studio with Alchemist at that time as well. I feel like, not only did I get to work with two people I never worked with before, but I actually got to say something on that song where I didn't feel like I was competing with them, because I already had what I wanted to say. I feel I fit in nice with two people I consider to be my heroes. (Rhymesayers)