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Home » Lyricist Lounge

The Weatherman serves up a hurricane

Submitted by on September 28, 2011 – 2:06 pmNo Comment

Over an illustrious 20-year career, Evidence has used metaphor most often as his narrative tool of choice. With his sophomore offering, a follow-up to 2007’s The Weatherman LP, the prolific West Coast rapper has cooked up an auditory hurricane. Cats and Dogs, which swept up the Western Seaboard and skirted northeast, where it picked up force by way of the Minnesota-based Rhymesayers label, was felt upon its release yesterday in every corner of the globe.

Is it true Raekwon jumped on “The Red Carpet” for a chicken parmesan sandwich?

Yes, and a beat though. I gave him a beat and then a chicken sandwich on top of that.

Do you really have an issue with your friends smoking your weed when you pass out?

Namely Fashawn – man he’s crazy. I do the same thing though, but I can rap about it and make it look like it’s just other people.

The supporting cast for Cats and Dogs is made up of all veterans, less 23-year-old Fashawn (“Same Folks”)…

…We [he and Fashawn] were going back on tours and the chemistry was there. It wasn’t something we did through the mail. I think he was just genuinely interested [in the project].

You and The Alchemist collaborated on “James Hendrix.” When can fans expect your joint album under the “Step Brothers Project” name?

Mainly when we have a little time to both promote it. We pretty much work together every day on music, regardless if it’s for a targeted purpose or not. When we have a body of work that we feel is ready to be presented, and we both know we can take some time out, we’ll make it happen.

You only produced one track on the new disc. Any reason for that, given you manned the boards on a handful on The Weatherman LP?

I did four on The Weatherman, I did two on Layover, and here I did one, ‘cause I’m progressively getting worse at producing. Just joking, but you hang out with The Alchemist and [DJ] Premier and a lot of these people you can’t just say because I make beats, they make the record. You gotta be real with yourself.

Did Premier really initially craft the “You” beat for Busta Rhymes?

That’s what he told me, yeah. There was one that didn’t work out with him and Bus’ and he thought it was perfect for me. He sent me one beat and that was it. I took it immediately.

It seems Cats and Dogs is a little brighter, so to speak, than The Weatherman LP. Have the “Dark Clouds,” as you wrote a few years back, parted from your sky?

Overall, I was would say this album has a light at the end of the tunnel, which is a good thing. I think Weatherman I was real depressed because the loss of my mom was fresh and that was kinda the motivation to write the record. There are some moments of clarity on this one.

Weatherman had a few overarching themes: death, drug addiction, depression. Did you try and do the same with the new album, or was the idea to write track by track?

There were certain things I knew I had to write about: I had relationship drama for the first time; money was an issue, so that was something I had to write about; the topic of myself as a graffiti artist has been coming up a lot. I didn’t wanna boggle it down with just stuff that’s obsessive because I feel there is still a lot of room to just put a beat on and see where the pen takes me.

Can you tell me about the graffiti issue?

I got arrested for the tag “Buket” and I’m known in Los Angeles and a lot of California and the West Coast. It’s something that’s hard to speak on ‘cause there’s legal shit and whatnot, so I kinda addressed it in the songs.

Why did you decide to leave the thirteenth track on the album blank? Are you superstitious?

I’m not superstitious and there is no thirteenth track on the album because I’m a Mason. I’m actually a Mason… I was lying but it sound good.

On you last album you wrote “After it’s all said and done, I wonder if they know my name.” Do you think Cats and Dogs brings you any closer to that goal?

I do. When I set out on this solo shit the goal was to be just Evidence, not Evidence of Dilated Peoples. It’s obvious that I’m Dilated forever [but] I thought that if people could start putting just Evidence on flyers or people saying ‘featuring Evidence,’ it would be a sign of me really putting in work and grindin’ it out. To me that’s a testament to the work ethic and the fact I’m getting closer to where I need to be.

Interview by Rémi L. Roy

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