As time progresses, there are three things we are assured of in life… death, taxes, and the underground Hip Hop scene. What we can not always guarantee is that listeners will be happy with what they hear. The underground scene like many things in Hip Hop can at times be described as over saturated. There are so many “up and coming” artists striving for attention, it can be difficult at times to notice everyone. To make things worse, some of these artists are nowhere near as good as advertised. They either lack identity, style actual skills, or marketability, so it is as always a breath of fresh air, when an artist such as Evidence comes out with an album, Cats & Dogs, which offers style, substance, personality and a little touch of the old ways… Let’s take a deeper look.
This album is engulfed with a 1990’s feel. For those of you who grew up during that era in Hip Hop, you may remember the music having a grittier soulful sound. The music wasn’t necessarily depressing; it just had a harder edge to it. The feel of this album can best be described as a mash up of “Reasonable Doubt,” “Illmattic” and Wu Tangs “36 Chambers.” This says a lot especially when you reflect on how big these albums were for the industry content wise.
Lyrically Cats & Dogs offers a rap delivery that is steady and deliberate, and Evidence has a voice that is clear and displays a strong presence on the mic. Will he make your head spin with lyrics, not from what I’ve heard, but he is definitely talented and has many quote worthy lines that make the album a product worth more then just the sum of its production team. The music is consistent, some artists just can’t seem to keep a consistent thought on a song, but on this album, the mood and feel is consistent, with no drastic veers to the opposite direction, but this can be seen as a good or bad thing, depending on who’s listening.
Like most albums Cats & Dogs does have its weaknesses. For all of his talents Evidence does not seem to be the master of incorporating breaks into his music, this along with his propensity to discuss himself can hurt him with some fans who want a broader range of topics discussed in their music. But these are all things that can be polished and improved upon as an artist grows, and develops.
The album is very strong from songs 1-17, but the strongest part of the album is definitely songs 6 through 13. “I Don’t Need Love,” “Crash,” and “James Hendrix” are the cant miss tracks that any Hip Hop fan will love.
Hip Hop has many faces, and in this new age of music fans have become very enticed by the flashy, new era of “New Boy” and Hybrid rappers. But Evidence is a trip back to some of the best days for Hip Hop talent wise, and anyone who purchases this album will be getting a taste of what made that era so great.
To purchase Evidence’s Cats & Dogs visit FifthElementOnline.com