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Evidence – “Unlearning, Vol. 1” (Album Review)

Evidence is a 44 year old MC/producer & former graffiti artist from Venice, California coming up in the early 90’s as part of the trio Dilated Peoples alongside Rakaa & DJ Babu. He’s also established himself as a solo artist along the way, dropping his debut album The Weatherman under ABB Records in 2007 & making himself at home with the renown Minneapolis powerhouse Rhymesayers Entertainment since ‘09. Last time we heard from him was at the beginning of 2018 when he dropped Weather or Not & now after putting out 3 singles throughout this spring, Ev’s making his return by putting out his 4th full-length album.

“Better You” kicks things off as a grimy ode to self improvement with The Alchemist on the boards whereas “Start the Day with a Beat” jumps on a jazzy boom bap instrumental to declare himself as a rare breed. Ev tells listeners to sink or swim on the guitar-laced “Sharks Smell Blood” just before addressing the shit he’s been dealing with on the Animoss-produced “Pardon Me”. Boldy James tags along to reminisce on where they started for the psychedelic “All of That Said” & then going on to speak about someone whose heart has gone south on the forlorn “Won’t Give Up the Danger” with Mr. Green on the boards.

Things go back into boom bap territory with the help of Daringer on “Moving on Up” as he & Conway the Machine talk about how they’ll never stop chasing their dreams leading into the stripped back, sincere “Talking to the Audience” produced by Khrysis. Meanwhile on “All Money 1983”, we get a soulful look-back on when Ev met Al Pacino almost 40 years ago before bringing in a vintage sample on “Pray with an A” for him & Navy Blue to look back on their past.

Lost in Time (Park Jams)” speaks on smoking weed at a park over a heavenly instrumental from Nottz while the Fly Anakin-assisted “Delay the Issue” is a luxurious reminder that life is too short. The penultimate “Taylor Made Suit” is a bluesy cut produced by V Don about how his funeral suit is the same as his wedding suit & the the album ends with the churchy “Where We Going From Here…”, which is about how it’s the first day in a while where he woke up on the right side of the bed.

From front to back, this is a really dope album in my book. It’s refreshing to hear him move away from the weather-theme of his previous solo output, his writing is clever than ever & the production is on point as well.

Score: 8/10




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