Since Dilated Peoples broke through in the late ’90s, the Los Angeles-based trio of Evidence, Rakaa and DJ Babu have created top-quality rap and have collaborated with everyone from The Alchemist to Kanye West. Like many other underground groups, Dilated Peoples has enjoyed tremendous success overseas, where they regularly tour.
Evidence has also emerged as a notable solo artist during the last several years. His 2007 “Mr. Slow Flow” single highlighted his signature delivery style, while his forthcoming “Cats & Dogs” album (due September 27) explores some the personal trauma he’s endured in the last several years and also discusses some of his time on the road.
Though he loves his native Venice Beach to the core, Evidence took the time to give us his Top 5 Places To Travel. We augmented Evidence’s list by adding videos from artists who either live in or near the location or who filmed a video there.
5. British Columbia, Canada
Evidence: “It’s close enough and they’ve got a smile on their face and they’re not being weighed down by the American system. I feel like I’m close enough to home and the weather is pretty much the same, but they just have a one-up on us as far as their life expectancy, the way they’re being treated.
The way they support their own artists through radio and television, I love the independence of that. The women are super beautiful. People are nothing but great to me. If I could get a way to live there legally, it’s a place I would love to spend time
Evidence: “I love the islands. I don’t know what it’s like to have island fever because I haven’t spent long enough there. I sleep two or three hours there and I’m so energized all day. It’s like the weirdest phenomenon.
I love how far back it is in time relative to the rest of the world. To communicate, you have to do it on a whole different time. I really feel like there’s a lot to be learned of yourself there.”
Evidence: “I love the air, the community. They understand how to live life and not living to work. I love that there are certain similarities to the weather in Switzerland to Los Angeles. You can drink the water out of the tap. It’s a beautiful thing.
I heard there’s high suicide rates in certain places and that it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be, but if I could live right and in the right place and bump into Tina Turner somewhere and have espresso one day, that’d be the shit. That is a great place.”
2. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Evidence: “It stole my heart. It’s got some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in my life. I love the smiles on those people’s faces, the food that they’re eating, the way they’re carrying themselves. They’re proud of their bodies and they’re not being hidden behind clothing.
It has the dopest vibe with shows. There’s a huge language barrier. Portuguese and English, they’re very far off from one another. It’s very hard to communicate, but just the love and the pounds and the energy and the food is incredible. I could really be there for a long time. I didn’t get to go to Rio de Janeiro, but I love the city aspect of Sao Paulo.”
1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Evidence: “There’s enough for me there that I can eat what I want, smoke what I want, fuck if I want. Whatever I want, it’s there. It doesn’t mean I have to utilize any of it, but it’s at my fingertips. Being that far away from home and having those amenities puts me in a good mood right off the bat.
Then, I love the people, the culture, the balance of working and living. I love that people don’t smoke out of a huge bong all day. They mix it with tobacco and puff it real lightly, sip tea and chill. I love the lack of Hollywood. That place, I could go to all the time. And, it rains. It’s a beautiful place.”
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.