Evidence’s second solo LP Cats & Dogs hits you like a quiet storm. "It Wasn’t Me" opens the album with a bang: "About to tell you who I are, I came a long way and I still got so far to go. Tee off with this trademark flow, and after tonight I’m a let the whole world know- my name is Evidence." Ev wastes no time telling you what he’s been up to since the release of his solo debut, 2007's 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. Took the jacket off, saw blood on my sleeves, when you wear your heart there, this the puddle it leaves” he confesses on “I Don’t Need Love."
Ev’s solo albums flow like lyrical biographies, chronicling his pain and struggle. But don't mistake the Dilated Peoples MC for an emo-rapper—he deftly avoids the tag by never dwelling on the negative. Even at his lowest, Evidence remains focused and determined.
Each track is a glance into the inner workings of his day to day life. Each scene is layered like stills from a movie. “My naked eyes are like my memory chips, everything digested comes up when I spit."
Ev touched on his mother’s passing on The Weatherman LP. "I Don't Need Love" captures his hurt in detail, as Ev details how he got the call that his mother was ill and left a tour with Kanye West to be with his dying mother. If you have any questions, Evidence says, “I Still Love You" explains if you don’t know the rest.”
Like the personal tales, the production on Cats & Dogs is compelling throughout. "You," the album’s lead single, is a bass-heavy head nodder laced by DJ Premier. It details Ev’s experiences since signing his first record deal. “I can’t decide what’s real and what’s imagination. Since I signed that deal before my graduation. I went from running track and field to tracks with Phil to Grammys with 'Ye before Late Registration.” As an added bonus "You" offers a glimpse of Dilated People’s reunion album--its title, Director of Photography.
You won’t hear Cats and Dogs banging in the club. It's headphone music at its finest. Reminiscent of 90’s hip-hop, it's a story-telling album rife with slick beats. In an industry flush with songs extolling riches and luxury, it’s refreshing to hear lyrics that are humble yet full of confidence.
Evidence makes it clear on Cats and Dogs that his life isn’t always easy, but he’s enjoying it and he wants us to join him for the ride. As he states on "Red Carpet," "It’s hard squeezing life in a sentence. And if I do roll carpet with the red tint. My entrance and what’s between. When I exit it’s Evidence left on the scene." Cats and Dogs is as well-suited for sunny days as it is for cloudy nights.
Body of Evidence
- "Portions of my proceeds is feeding my homies now, I always shared pretty good for an only child." ("Red Carpet")
- "If it’s one thing I’ve learned that I’ve written down on paper it’s never leave some weed on a table with a stranger." ("Strangers")
- “Named by Will I am, I thought of Evident, he mispronounced it Evidence, fast forward here we are standing in the present tense.” ("It Wasn’t Me")
- "I stay grounded like my lobby tagging Buket on the wall but never tat it on my body. My music and my graph are living separate lives. One gets me paid the other’s paying the price. Either way they say I’m spraying at night but how the fuck when I’m touring overseas on a flight.” ("It Wasn’t Me")