That it is raining cats and dogs is not exactly something you would associate with LA and the Californian south. Still, Evidence has chosen this bad-weather-title for his second solo LP Cats & Dogs. In the interview Evidence, born as Michael Peretta, explains why he stands for the unspoken side of Los Angeles: »I’m from LA, a place that is stereotyped as all sunshine, palm tress & gangsta rap. I am very much LA and represent the untold side of the city. When it rains, accompanied by dark images and underground music.« But actually Evidence – as member of LA’s showcase crew Dilated Peoples – almost made it out of that underground, at the latest when their collabo-work with Kanye West This Way was released. And if you look even closer you get the impression Ev has worked with almost everyone of distinction in the hip hop scene. This may also be the explanation for the numerous features on Cats & Dogs: First, we have Aloe Blacc doing some nice singing on the first track, then there are old companions from LA (Rakaa, Ras Kass, Krondon) and even the colleagues from the east coast have landed in the sunshine state: Raekwon, Roc Marciano, Prodigy and permanent feature artist Aesop Rock. Last but not least there is Slug of Atmosphere whom Evidence can now call a label associate because he signed with Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers in 2009. Here, Evidence is mixed in the best society, as he explains: »It is an honor to be a part of something already so self contained. I feel I have a lot to offer back as well. I know what my target is and what my goals are. I don’t think they want to be involved with anyone that lacks a vision.« »I know what my target is and what my goals are. I don’t think they want to be involved with anyone that lacks a vision.« For the start Evidence just finished »The Family Vacation Tour« together with Atmosphere, Blueprint and Dilated Peops beatmaker DJ Babu all across the US and is happy about the experiences he has made: »It is a growth period for me. Can’t wait to get to the studio and let that reflect. Never rule me out. Inspiration is a powerful tool, and I have a great ability to get inspired without having an urge to bite someone’s style or feel jealousy.« And inspiration he seems to have a lot because there is not only the tour and his solo LP on his appointment schedule, in addition there are also the new Dilated Peoples LP Directors of Photography and another solo album with his pal †œThe Alchemist† in the making. Being asked how he manages all of this he answers in proper style: †œA lot of weed.† Nevertheless he is quite self-confident about the products he delivers and he is in anticipation of the next Dilated LP: »I have a feeling it will be our best album to date for one reason… I REALLY AM LOOKING FOWARD TO MAKING IT!!! “Directors Of Photography” will be special, bet on it.†
But first, on September 27th Cats & Dogs will be released. The heavy Westcoast sound that also characterized Evicende’s first solo album †œThe Weatherman† is the perfect soundscape for Mr. Slowflow. The Alchemist, Ev himself and some other producers create a harmonic Californian sound that is influenced mainly by strings, the piano and some powerful synths. Especially nice is †œTo be continued…† for example, which has been released on the net some time ago showing Evidence riding a rollercoaster and performing the song in one shot straight and without interruptions. Rating: absolutely worth listening to and worth a look. The artist opinion on that: »It is a groundbreaking video as far as I’m concerned. It makes it hard for the next guy or girl to just stand in front of a wall and rap. Everybody can have a video as of late. To me a song has to be worthy of a visual. Not everything is meant to be watched.« The 34 year-old makes the impression of reflecting a lot which you are not only noticing during an interview but also in his songs: »When I did Weatherman it was a release to deal with the pain that was occurring from the loss of my Mom. Since then reality has kicked in and it hasn’t been the easiest for me. I have been left with a mass amount of bills and responsibility that comes with it. I am very much a grown man now and you might be able to sense of growth lyrically to accompany that.« So Evidence might be on his way to no longer living in the shadow of the Dilated Peoples. That it can work was proven by his colleague Rakaa last year when he released the critically acclaimed LP Crown of Thorns. Evidence’ new home on Rhymesayers will most certainly not hinder him doing great work and Cats & Dogs gives you a great impression of what this artist is capable of. And that he has no problem with rainy weather might be helping a lot.