Evidence was hit hard. In the last few years, the Dilated Peoples rapper had a number of dramatic changes in his life -- ones that helped shape the direction, feel and focus of his forthcoming album, “Cats & Dogs,” which is scheduled for a September 27 release.
“I do think it’s about reality setting in,” Evidence says in his dressing room before hitting the stage at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre with label mates Atmosphere. “It’s just based on my mom passing. My first record ‘The Weatherman LP’ was like a big exhale; I had to get that out, say shit. It was like therapy to do it, but then as reality set in and the actual things like paying my mom’s bills every month, having to go through her storage and do shit that I hadn’t had to go through yet. Then there was the recession and remodeling my house, spending a fuckload of money and then money not coming after that. Then realizing, ‘Hey I want more money,’ so I’ve got to hit the road. But I wanted to stay home and make a record.”
Cats & Dogs
Evidence found some solace while recording “Cats & Dogs.” It’s a revealing, personal album, one that allows him to discuss the highs and lows of his life, all while not getting bogged down by the substantial setbacks he experienced.
“It was an interesting time for me,” Evidence says. “They say you can’t control when it lands on you and it landed on me, so to speak. It was like a bad acid trip a little bit, but I felt like after the high dosage started to wear off that I started to get through my trip a little bit. I think there’s a lot of positivity and a lot of moments of, ‘I’m going to make it.’ But then I broke up with a girl for the first time. Do I talk about this or not? Hey, that’s happening on top of all this other shit. A song like ‘Well Runs Dry,’ a song like ‘I Don’t Need Love,’ it’s like, ‘Do I say this or I don’t say this?’ I decided to say it.”
They say you can’t control when it lands on you and it landed on me, so to speak.
He also decided to remain true to his roots by keeping his album sharp, both conceptually and sonically. “Where You Come From?” with Rakaa, Lil Fame and Termanology is a clever biographical exercise, while “Fame” with Roc Marciano and Prodigy features the three rappers looking at fame from three different perspectives. There’s also the DJ Premier-produced “You,” a braggadocio gem that works well with his other solo material.
“I went through an interesting period from when ‘The Layover’ left off to this period,” he says. “Without trying to put my whole life on a record and be emo, I felt like I still couldn’t lie about things that were happening. So instead of saying, ‘Cowboy hats are wack,’ I said, ‘I’m going to wear a Cowboy hat this time.’ So it’s kind of a for better -- for worse type of record and I do think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to all of it.”
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