When the highly acclaimed alternative hip hop trio Dilated Peoples
began making noise in the late 1990s on Capitol Records, the group consisting of Evidence
, Rakaa and DJ Babu hoped their success would serve as a platform for solo projects, much as the Wu-Tang Clan
's success had done before them. Four critically acclaimed albums, countless performances around the globe, gracing the covers of a myriad of publications and outside production work-including tracks for the Beastie Boys
, Linkin Park
, Swollen Members
, Planet Asia
and co- production on Kanye West
's Grammy award winning album College Dropout
, Evidence gives his fans a brilliant taste of his own individual talent on his debut solo album The Weatherman LP
"I don't train for sprints, I train for marathons," announces Evidence on the opening track of Dilated Peoples' first album in three years. He's not exaggerating: The anti-materialistic L.A. trio has been knocking around the margins of mainstream hip-hop since the mid- Nineties….Dilated haven't lost their gritty tone, but it looks like this neighborhood is risin' up." Rolling Stone Magazine
The high-caliber The Weatherman erases the misconception that it never rains in Southern California, as Evidence's reign over the rap world is imminent. With production from The Alchemist
, Sid Roams, Jake One, DJ Babu, and Evidence himself, the high-powered collection boasts brilliant beats that perfectly compliment Evidence's impressively expansive lyrical scope. Evidence's affinity with hip-hop and the culture began in the early eighties, with his parent's divorce and subsequent move from the affluent city of Santa Monica to neighboring Venice Beach. Raised by his single mother of Russian decent with his Italian father less and less in the picture, Evidence took solace in his new backyard where his favorite pastimes became break-dancing at the former Venice Pavilion and skate-boarding with the legendary Venice Z-Boys.
"Along with handling the microphone Evidence has been just as comfortable at the boards making joints for many an established MC including Kanye West, Defari, Linkin Park
and of course Dilated …But before constructing the latest Dilated masterpiece - the first single being the Alchemist produced "Back Again" with the Evidence produced b-side "Rapid Transit" - the gravely voiced MC found some inspiration by falling back on the rhymes, for a minute." Elemental Magazine
By the early nineties and in addition to becoming a well known graffiti artist, painting hip hop inspired hieroglyphics under the name "VANE," a fateful move next door to QD3, son of legendary producer Quincy Jones
, Evidence discovered his true calling. QD3, an accomplished West Coast producer, ("To Live and Die in L.A."- Tupac
, "Ghetto Bird"- Ice Cube
, "I got the Knack"- Everlast
) became one of Evidence's major influences in his pursuit to create music.
"Entertaining people with a beat-heavy blend of positivity, humor and social commentary is something Rakaa, partner-in-rhyme Evidence and Babu have been doing since the late '90s. Already a fixture on the West Coast, the DPs are just now experiencing the kind of recognition they feel is their just due - thanks largely to a growing army of loyal fans." VH-1 Music
Shortly after meeting QD3, Evidence teamed with the likeminded Rakaa to form the highly praised group Dilated Peoples and after the success of their 1997 single "Third Degree" b/w "Confidence" and "Global Dynamics" on ABB Records - and the addition of DJ Babu to the fold a year later -- the group's buzz exploded out of the underground and quickly became a fixture on the hip hop tour circuit.
The lead single "Mr. Slow Flow" features a thunderous track from Sid Roams and Evidence's signature punchline-heavy rhymes. Elsewhere, "Down In New York City" pays homage to hip-hop's birthplace in the Bronx. He considers the song his version of hip hop icon's The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Going Back To Cali" because while Biggie was from New York and respected the hip hop art forms originating from California, Evidence is from California and has much praise for the New York scene. And, just as Biggie presented an outsider's view of Los Angeles with admiration and appreciation, Evidence does the same toward New York on "Down In New York City." Evidence also teams with Alchemist for a dissertation on his viewpoints of what is "hot" on the deceptively clever "Hot & Cold" and pairs with Planet Asia for a wistful nostalgic "A Moment In Time," while one of the most powerful songs on the album "Believe in Me" features current Gnarls Barkley
vocalist RES ("They Say Vision," "Golden Boys").
"Crafty, narrative lyrics and dark production from Dilated Peoples' Evidence keep this long-player a staple in contemporary street music." XLR8R Magazine
"Dilated Peoples dove headfirst, feet flailing, into the mainstream and somehow made it back to tell their story. Prompted by heavy experiences with death, new babies, and ever-consuming music industry politics, this past year has proved to be truly mind expanding for the trio….Rakaa, Evidence, and DJ Babu of the Dialted Peoples were up next, and in convincing fashion, proved themselves as worthy representatives of LA's continuously burgeoning hp hop scene." Kotori Magazine
Writing and performing "I Still Love You" was particularly tough for Evidence, a single child who considered his mother to be his best friend and confidante. Evidence constructed "Chase The Clouds" after coming out of the disheartened state he fell into after his mother passed. It is a dramatic change of pace for Evidence, who wrote lyrics about being happy -- a first.
"Production work by Evidence, producer of ABB's two Defari singles as well as a rapper and producer in Dilated Peoples, helped set the standard for the ABB sound. Driving beats, backed by a clean and serious piano loop enhanced by robotic emanations." San Francisco Weekly
"Longtime darlings of hip-hop's underground, Dilated stays true to their roots combining spare, churning bass hooks with Babu's epic turntable episodes. Guest artists add fuel to the flames set ablaze by the straight-spittings of MCs Iriscience and Evidence. Buoyantly braggadocious, the fellas swap positive abstract poetics with swagger and grace." Amazon.com
"Evidence and Rakaa had already formed Dilated Peoples after crossing each others' paths at various Hip-Hop shows before DJ Babu of the Beat Junkies became the third member of the group. After dominating the late 90's indie world with such twelve-inch classics as "Work the Angles", Capitol Records came calling… Dilated Peoples wear the backpacks placed on them by the industry with pride." Allhiphop.com
Through his work as one-third of Dilated Peoples, Evidence became a torchbearer and champion of hip-hop culture, something he continues on his first solo album. And The Weatherman
does just that.