Hey, everyone! Hope you're well. Anthony Fantano, here. Internet's Busiest Music Nerd. You know! Alright, it's time for another track review. Punching them out right now, and I'm getting to talking about an artist I promised I'd lay an opinion on: Evidence. This dude is a West Coast MC, and I've been conscious of this buy for a little while. A friend of mine in college turned me on to Dilated Peoples, which kinda fit my hunger for conscious hip hop at the time. However, for some reason, I didn't really stick with these guys and Evidence like I should have, admittedly.
I was beating myself up over it a bit when I heard this dude was dropping a new album on Rhymesayers, Cats & Dogs. I was pretty ticked I hadn't been keeping up on him, but I've gotta admit I'm a little let down by this album now that I'm hearing it.
There was nothing really terrible on this album. I think part of my issue is that Evidence is a bit of an acquired taste. The guy has a slow, sleepy, repetitive flow. I can take a repetitive flow here and there. MF DOOM is pretty repetitive, but Evidence lacks the urgency that makes me really wanna stick with him. I know it's semi-intentional, because Evidence even brings it up in his lyrics, but I'm still not a huge fan of it.
With Evidence, it's a bit of an exchange game. Sure, I'm not getting a fiery flow here, this dude's lyrics are usually pretty clever. I think the track "It Wasn't Me" had some of my favorite lines on this album.
But I'm not too in love with them on this particular track: "Strangers." Evidence muses about not being able to trust his friends with his weed, carrying weight, originality, and the West Coast. Evidence is not a shallow soul. I admire the fact that he's making the music he wants to make. Not only that, he's phenomenally consistent in his style and personality. Amen!
It's just that there's absolutely nothing here that really sticks with me. I never come away getting hit by any of these lines, sadly. Everything just feels, well, kinda passable. Take this line for example:
"Lately when I walk I've been trying to hold my posture straight, hold my chin up then feel the love from across the way."
That's just one of many moments that don't do a lot for me. It's not terrible, but not amazing me either. Sure, it's taken out of context, and I influence you to check out the lyrics for yourself over here, because that lyric is linked to the lines that appear after it.
Between these lyrics, the DJ cuts in between the verses, and the beat itself, I can't say much more about this track than this: It's a hip hop song. What I mean is that it just kinda feels like a stereotypical hip hop track. The recording here is top-notch, yes, but I don't see what's so definitive about this.
Evidence in this very song says that nothing in this original. Sure, everybody is influenced by something, and those influences show up in the art artists create, but I wish this track did a little more to separate itself from what inspires it. Because at this point, "Strangers"--and a lotta songs on Cats & Dogs--feel, well, a little generic.
Overall, I think this is a likeable album--and like I said, I think it's mostly me just being underwhelmed by this guy's flow--but it's songs like "Strangers" that kinda hold me back from really loving this thing. Songs like this just kinda breeze by for me. Still, some great features on this thing: Raekwon, Ras Kass, Slug, and Aesop Rock.
What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? What should I review next?
Stream: Evidence- "Strangers"