Artist: EvidenceTitle: The Weatherman LPRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Omar Hamza
Evidence, of the seminal L.A. collective Dilated Peoples, is showcasing his skill behind the boards and behind the mic with his first solo shot, The Weatherman LP (ABB). For those that don't know, Dilated is one of those rare collectives to showcase true Hip-Hop. With two wicked emcees (Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience) that never fell for the clichéd topics of guns, bitches and drugs combined with a DJ (Babu) that was at the forefront of the group, Dilated was an underground group able to snag a deal with a major (Capitol). After two albums with lukewarm response, the group is off of Capitol and has begun to work on individual solo projects.
The Weatherman LP is first up on to bat in this line of solo projects. Evidence has been known for years for his monotone flow and embraces it with the first single, "Mr. Slow Flow." The beat courtesy of Sid Roams sounds like an epic medley of organs upon reaching the gates of hell, which perfectly compliments Evidence's cadence. This is definitely not the type of track that will have girls shaking their asses in the club but that has never been Evidence's forte. "letyourselfgo" is an Alchemist produced heater which features himself and Phonte (of Little Brother). The beat might not be one of Al's best but it starts the first in what is an album filled with impressive collaborations. In fact, every collabo on The Weatherman is dope. Planet Asia continues his legacy as NorCal's finest lyricist with his performance on "A Moment in Time" and Sick Jacken and Chace Infinite kill "Born in LA".
This record pays homage to Los Angeles in the same way Illmatic crafted an image of New York as a heartless metropolis that birthed an artist's style. The title, The Weatherman, is a metaphor describing that it indeed does rain in Southern California. Evidence being the Weatherman does find a way to "Chase the Clouds Away" over a flowing sample courtesy of Alchemist. The strength of the album lies not in Evidence's rhymes (which are much improved) but in his and the contributing producer's production. "NC to CA" which features Big Pooh, Defari and Joe Scudda is an Evidence beat which gives the royal treatment to some of North Cackalaca and LA's finest. There is not one throw away beat on the entire album which is a rarity in today's world of made for radio singles and experimentalism.
It's not clear whether Evidence recognized the importance of this album but he had to come correct. His group Dilated is coming off dropping two solid but lukewarmly received albums, while underground groups with mainstream recognition are on the brink of extinction. To help make up for the deficiency Evidence has taken matters into his own hands by dropping a very tight album. This album should be copped on the strength of beats and collabos alone but Ev's dedication on the mic are a bonus on what is SoCal's hottest underground album of the year thus far.