Release Date: Sep 27, 2011
Record label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
True hip-hop can be defined by the ear of the listener. Some may say it has revived itself as of late with J. Cole, Wale, Drake and Kendrick Lamar, among others. Others will say that the age of true hip-hop has come and gone. But there are rappers celebrated by fans and critics alike who still make ….
“Mr. Slow Flow” could just as well refer to himself as “Mr. Slow Release Schedule,” but the follow-up to Evidence’s 2008 effort, The Weatherman LP, is such a well-built slab of indie rap that a four-year wait seems well worth it. This isn’t just a statement for fans either, as the stern anchor of Dilated Peoples and his “patented flow” can come off as somewhat “limited” in a solo setting, yet Cats & Dogs is persuasive, beating Weatherman on variety, accessibility, and sharpness in spite of its long track list.
Dilated Peoples emcee Evidence has waited four years to release the follow-up to his last release, The Weatherman LP. “I’ve been through heartbreaks to breakups to makeups to broke again / Now I’m back again, my soul on the rope again,” rhymes Ev on “I Don’t Need Love,” indirectly promising artistic growth on his latest project , Cats & Dogs. “The Liner Notes” simultaneously tows the line between soulful and sinister, as the samples play to both aesthetics and portends things to come.
It's been four years since Evidence from Cali-rap crew Dilated Peoples released his solo debut. That length of time usually spells a death sentence in hip-hop's churn-'em-out economy, especially for an "underground" rapper. But Evidence's new effort rewards our patience. Mostly, Ev raps over very pleasant Alchemist beats.
It’s easy to forget that Evidence has been around since the late 1990s. The Los Angeles based rapper/producer played low-key the last few years. Cats & Dogs is only his second solo album since Dilated Peoples’ unofficial hiatus in ‘07. If you’ve heard Ev’s previous work, this album won’t pack too many surprises—an that’s a good thing.