After rain the sun does not always come. Sometimes the sky remains overcast behind a veil of fog. Altostratus clouds is what meteorology calls it. Evidence calls it »Unlearning Vol.1«, his fourth solo album, which is released these days by Rhymesayers Entertainment. Because Michael Perretta, as Evidence’s real name is, is not a meteorologist, but a rapper, producer and above all the definition of real – whatever that means in 2021.
With his 2007 solo debut »The Weatherman,« Mr. Slow Flow broke away for the first time from the group structure of his crew Dilated Peoples, who had previously helped shape the underground rap of the U.S. West Coast in a ten-year band history with hits like »Work the Angles« and »Worst Comes To Worst«. His 15-year career, meanwhile, has brought Evidence together both in front of the music machines and behind the membranes with style-defining figures like Kanye West, DJ Premier and, of course, his high school friend The Alchemist, as well as Vince Staples, Sa-Roc, and most recently the Griselda Records bunch.
The 44-year-old is not only an international underground icon, but was one of the first rappers ever to allow himself to grow up. For what EV shows on the iconic »Weather« trilogy and also now on »Unlearning Vol.1« is not merely a clear commitment to hip-hop culture of clever wordplay, rap references and hand-picked crate-diggin beats, but the psychogram of a B-boy from Venice Beach discovering humility. »I’m a problem child/ Face a lot of karma waiting,« he raps on second single »Pardon Me,« with his trademark performance of a resting warrior. The 14 new songs tell of the passion of a beatmaker, cratedigger and rhyme fetishist, but also just the real-life essues of a businessman, life partner and family man. »Let me be/ The Rest will see/ I’m still chefin’ up the recipe,« for instance, is the title on »Where We Going From…«. Here, Evidence reveals and 10 Vinyl records that went into that recipe. In no order.