Evidence had some big shoes to fill following up his debut solo album, and if The Layover EP is demonstrative of what we will be hearing more of on his sophomore follow up next year, Cats & Dogs is my most anticipated album of ’09.
But that’s the future and I’m sure I’ll have ample opportunity to speak on it at a more appropriate time. Right now I need y’all to try and follow me as I attempt to explain why I think you need to buy this album, like right now.
Evidence was on tour with Khrysis last year and I would imagine being two beat makers they had some things to talk about and eventually those conversations led to some music creation. Originally this EP was going to be a free download with Ev going in over five heat rocks from Khrysis, things changed and instead we get two tracks from him – but after hearing them you won’t be mad.
With the opening two cuts, Khrysis lays it down here! The title track knocks hard filled with more sounds than should work, but somehow it does and well. Driven by his solid drums and a bass line that may induce a serious head nod, Evidence breaks down his struggle with getting stuck. Khrysis flips the mood a bit for his second go here with “For Whom The Bell Tolls” featuring a stellar line up of Phonte, Blu and Will.I.Am on the hook. Over an epic track they pay tribute to the fallen and consider their own humanity. Blu delivers one of the greatest verses of the year here, but no one disappoints with Will even sounding proper.
Evidence ft. Phonte, Blu & Will.I.Am "For Whom The Bell Tolls"
From this seriousness comes a breath of fresh air as Evidence and Alchemist combine to form Step Brothers for “So Fresh.” Over a beat that can only be described as what So Cal would sound like if put to wax, they pay tribute to their home and their art explaining what inspires their dedication. After they both do their thing, the beat keeps playing and Babu comes through on the cuts. I said it before, but I don’t know if another song has a more fitting title.
Ev kept it in the crew for “Solitary Confinement” featuring an amazing chorus from Krondon and an even more impressive fairly minimal beat from Sid Roams. While in line with what you would hear on their Prodigy product, this song floats with a smoothness provided by some great keyboard sounds and very soft drums coupled with well placed hand claps. Over this sparse beat Evidence considers the pros and cons to being alone and how to keep yourself balanced.
Defari joins Evidence on the self produced cut “Don’t Hate” displaying their always on point chemistry over a great vocal loop addressing all the haters – just don’t do it! I think this might be the new theme song around the TML. The Alchemist comes through again producing and holding down the opening verse for “The Far Left.” Fashawn has emerged quick as a new voice on the west, and one to pay attention to, his verse only helps his growing rep displaying a crisp delivery.
The closing trifecta of songs, the only ones not to be released prior to the album, continue the flow of the EP and show Evidence at his best. Babu kicks it all off with a melancholy beat for “Rain or Shine” letting Ev break down the struggles of life and play the optimist who keeps looking for the positive even when nothing seems right. The Alchemist gives us one more beat here and in true Alc fashion it has that old soul feel but still knocks HARD with a great hook from probably Aloe Blacc – who also gets his rhyme game on to close out the track. Elzhi rocks as well and if you have ever been in to him you need not worry; this is right up there with anything The Preface held.
To close out the EP Evidence holds it down for self (minus some cuts from DJ Revolution) lacing a stomping beat with a great vocal chop worked in and some nice slightly off kilter keys he takes the solo chance to get his brag swag on a little bit, but always keeps it serious shouting out his mom and his new record label along with those who doubted him on “The Cold Weather.”
Evidence "The Cold Weather"
You can’t stay cold and bitter forever though and if this EP will serve any purpose hopefully it will be to warm those who have fronted on him to open their ears and give him a listen. The enjoyment Ev and his team are getting from making music is only translated into good tracks for us to enjoy – so cop the album and listen. Not only will you be entertained you will be inspired to think, inspired to live.
If you missed it, check the post form earlier this week I dropped filled with all the video's from the disc - half the songs have videos shot!