Evidence – Weather or Not

4 out of 5

Produced by: The Alchemist?

Label: Rhymesayers

Here’s what I know about Evidence: He’s from L.A.; he likes weather puns and the rain; he likes rapping and making money off of rapping; his name is Michael.  That that’s the majority of the lyrical depth of Evidence’s third album, Weather or Not, should be a slam against it, but Evy’s flow is so charming – proven since his Dilated Peoples days – and the beats and guest stars on this disc so varied and adding an amazing amount of rhythm and depth, that it sincerely don’t goddamned matter.  More importantly is that it doesn’t matter to Evy, either; that is: he enjoys rapping on the topics he does, and doesn’t go out of his way to do excessive boasting or to try and prove that this is some extra-level shit you just gotta understand…  Nah, his name’s Michael, he’s from L.A., etc. etc.

Which also isn’t to suggest that the lyrics are dumb.  Evidence has a slick way of stringing rhymes together to paint a picture, and though there might not be too many layers to that picture, you can absolutely see it, and feel the day-to-day ups and downs of this man’s life.  When he does suggest that what he’s producing now is the best he’s yet offered, you believe him: Weather or Not isn’t a string in a yearly release of discs; it’s been quite a few years, and now he again has something to say and rhyme about, and so he’s put on his best self to do so.

The beats and production on the disc are so seamless, it can admittedly take a couple tracks to feel it out.  We’re so used to people having a hook or going over the top nowadays that to have an album committed to samples and beats in a sort of classic 90s style, it doesn’t instantly click, but I’d say that once you get to track three’s Powdered Cocaine, with Slug and Catero, Weather or Not turns on and every song thereafter is a powerhouse of skilled restraint and smart, dense production.