Once upon a time in hip-hop a group called Dilated Peoples worked the angles to popular underground acclaim. This would be back when record shops were so thick with manboys wearing empty Eastpak rucksacks that it almost made you want to stop buying vinyl and go home and illegally download mp3s. By the time Eastpak rucksack sales had past their peak, Dilated’s star had begun to wane and I had trouble finding a record shop. Apparently they’ve done another two LPs since then – well, I say ‘LP’s – I doubt there was a huge amount of wax involved. Anyway, with Cats & Dogs Dilated producer/ emcee Evidence drops his second solo album and has managed to array one of the finest selections of guest emcees (including Raekwon, Prodigy, Aloe Blacc and Roc Marciano) and producers (including The Alchemist, Premier and DJ Babu) that I’ve seen in some time. Here’s hoping it bears fruit. You can cop some of that action right now by availing yourself of the album promo mix via the player below:
…and feel free to check out this video of album bonus track Same Folks featuring none other than the man Fashawn. Full LP details below that…
Evidence, the Grammy award-winning producer and one-third of Hip Hop icons Dilated Peoples, returns on September 26th with ‘Cats & Dogs’, his second solo album and debut for Rhymesayers Entertainment (the label behind releases from Atmosphere, Brother Ali and MF Doom amongst others).
‘Cats & Dogs’ is an album of brutal honesty as Evidence opens up to the world like never before while maintaining his respected signature sound with the deadpan delivery and incomparable gravitas that earned him the title “Mr. Slow Flow.” His skills and distinctive style are complemented by an all-star cast of friends and collaborators including Wu Tang’s Raekwon, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, Dilated Peoples cohort Rakaa, Slug of Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, Ras Kass, Roc Marciano, Krondon, Lil Fame of M.O.P., Termanology and recent UK chart-topper Aloe Blacc.
While best-known as a wordsmith, Evidence is no slouch behind the boards either. He was awarded a Grammy for his work on Kanye West’s ‘College Dropout’, and he showcases his abilities on several tracks here alongside work from legendary Hip Hop producer DJ Premier, longtime collaborators The Alchemist (Eminem, Lil Wayne & more) and Sid Roams and up-and-comers Twiz the Beat Pro, Rahki and Charli Brown.
‘Cats & Dogs’ is a hard-hitting Hip Hop masterpiece, meshing content, rhymes and production seamlessly, and making it Evidence’s most cohesive release to date – no mean feat considering his celebrated back catalogue. As part of Dilated Peoples, Evidence is one of the most successful independent rap artists of all time, with not only a Grammy, but two UK Top 40 hits under his belt (‘This Way ft. Kanye West’ and ‘Worst Comes To Worst’). UK fans will be able to see him showcase tracks from the album when the Rhymesayers European Tour sponsored by Carhartt hits London’s Electric Ballroom on November 7th.