Courtesy: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Dilated Peoples member Evidence returned this past January with his latest full-length studio recording Weather or Not. Yes, that is spelled right. His fifth full-length solo record, it is a solid new effort from the veteran MC that proves another positive effort that his most devout fans will appreciate just as much as hip-hop fans in general. This is thanks collectively to the beats and rhythms exhibited in each of the record’s 16 songs. This statement is supported early on in the album’s run in the form of its second entry, ‘Throw It All Away.’ This one will be discussed shortly. ‘Powder Cocaine’ as bad as it sounds, is actually another important entry to Weather or Not, and will be discussed later. ‘Bad Publicity’ is one more way in which Weather or Not proves to be another solid effort from Evidence. Between it, the other noted songs and the rest of this 55-minute record, it becomes clear that the album is not just a solid return for Evidence, but also one of the year’s top new rap/hip-hop records.
Evidence’s new album Weather or Not is a solid new effort from the veteran MC and Dilated People’s member and is also one of this year’s top new rap/hip-hop albums. That is thanks to beats and lyrical content that are certain to keep listeners fully engaged and entertained from start to finish. ‘Throw It All Away,’ which comes very early in the album’s run, clearly supports that statement. The song’s arrangement, which boasts a solid hip-hop beat at its foundation and a flowing keyboard line to boot, does plenty in itself to keep listeners engaged. The song’s lyrical theme, set against that arrangement, strengthens the song even more. That’s because lyrically speaking, the song comes across as a statement warning up-and-coming rappers to be more wise with their money. That is inferred as Evidence raps, “Don’t take fans for granted/Like the money is due.” It’s such a simple statement, but speaks volumes. It really is the crux of everything that this song seems to try to get across as he raps, “A player plays what a player’s dealt/And carries baggage like conveyor belts/And never f****** saves his wealth.” He’s saying here that he’s not a player, but someone who tries to be smart with his money and his experience. He drives that home even more in the song’s chorus in which he raps, “I got some money/I’m gonna blow it all today/They say, “Michael, don’t throw it all away/And my reply is, “there’s more on the way”/When I said it, I was walking in the rain.” Whether or not (get it?) he was using the rain as a way to talk about those rainy days is anyone’s guess. It would be easy to assume that, though. The mention of him blowing off people trying to warn him about wasting money strengthens the argument for that statement about wise fiscal management even more. When this is considered alongside the song’s equally engaging musical side, the whole of the song proves entirely entertaining and engaging. It makes the song just one of so many example of what makes Weather or Not another solid effort overall from Evidence. ‘Powder Cocaine,’ as bad as the song’s title seems, is actually quite the important addition to the record, too.
‘Powder Cocaine’ is important in part because of its musical arrangement, which obviously does quite a bit of sampling. The thing is that the sampling in question couples with the song’s beats to make the song’s musical side reason enough in itself to hear this song. The song’s lyrical content does just as much as its musical content to make this song stand out. That’s because it, like ‘Throw It All Away,’ seems to send a positive message to listeners, using powder cocaine more as a reference point than a content point so to speak. That’s inferred as Evidence raps, “I be fine/Like powder cocaine/And that’s a hell of a drug/And that’s a hell of a saying/They need elephant trunks to get it off of the plate/I wanna better myself/They wanna dwell in the pain/I wanna better my health/No umbrella for rain/And that’s a hell of a bug/I wanna live in my dreams/Got an ocean in mind/They wanna settle for streams/I wanna settle for more/I wanna get knocked down so I could settle the score/Better than before/As if that was possible/To shake the demons of my mother in the hospital/Drove to a mansion and wrote this s*** in front of it/’Cause everybody covets the comfort of becoming it (rich)/And that’s a hell of a drug/I caught a hell of a dream/Caught a hell of a bug/F*** irrelevant things/I’ve been moving at the speed of my life/Ignorant to the price/I be fine like powder cocaine.” When Slug (one of the members of Dilated Peoples’ label mates, Atmosphere, takes over in the second verse, he continues on in similar fashion, noting that he wants to be the best that he can.” This all in mind, the song’s positive message is clear. It’s a message of someone wanting to exceed expectations and be better than others who would rather be the opposite of that person. This is a message that so many listeners would benefit from hearing. It’s also more proof that not all rap is as bad as some would have people believe. It also serves even more to show why Weather or Not will weather the storm that is this year’s crop of new hip-hop and rap albums. Of course it is still not the last of the songs that serves to support that statement. ‘Bad Publicity’ also serves to show what makes Weather or Not a standout album.
The arrangement at the center of ‘Bad Publicity’ is one of the reasons that this wrong stands out. A close listen leads one to believe the rapper is sampling Public Enemy as part of its whole. Of course the beats are the foundation for the song. They make taking in the song’s lyrical content so easy and enjoyable. Speaking of that content, Evidence gives people plenty to think about here, too as he raps, “You can still find Ev on the block/Somewhere between a hard place and a rock/My dresser drawer gun under the socks/Nothing fun about shooting one/But summer is hot/Hey young world, Slick Rick is still the ruler/Go follow these dopes, if you broke, to the jeweler (don’t follow these dopes)/I’m an artist/Getting something outta f****** tubas/Real MacGyver making something outta something useless/I’m done with proving myself to people I never met/A new rule in itself/Remind me not to forget/No reinventing my name/I woulda did a long time ago if I wanted fame/Ain’t relying on no claim to fame/Just more bangers/No more strangers/Only Chuck Strangers/the older I get/The less that I speak/I do my dirt/By my lonely I creep.” This lead verse comes across as a statement of someone who’s comfortable in himself and doesn’t see the need to change for others. It goes right along with the messages of self-confidence seemingly presented in the prior noted songs, in which Evidence noted he wanted to be the best that he could be. Evidence’s longtime friend (and Strong Arm Steady crew member) Krondon builds on that seeming message as he raps in the song’s chorus, “I’ve been living in a bubble/Don’t make me bust yours/You settle for less/I settle the score/Sure as waves at the shore and two add two is four/I’ve been eating all my life and still hungry for more.” Between that chorus and the positive vibes in the song’s verses (including the second verse, which comes across just as positively as the lead verse), this lyrical content gives listeners just as much to appreciate here as the song’s musical arrangement. When it is considered along with the overall content of ‘Throw It All Away’ and ‘Powder Cocaine,’ all three songs together go a long way toward showing why Weather or Not is another solid solo entry from Evidence. They are certainly not the only songs included in this album that prove its strengths. ‘Wonderful World,’ which comes late in the album’s run is more proof of that strength, both musically and lyrically. The same applies with ’10,000 Hours,’ ‘Sell Me This Pen’ and ‘What I Need.’ Between those songs, the works more directly discussed here, and the album’s other four songs not noted, the whole of this album proves overall to be a solid offering from Evidence. It gives listeners plenty to appreciate and talk about both in terms of its music and lyrics. Keeping this in mind, it would be wrong to ignore Weather or Not as a candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hip-hop/rap albums. It is that good that it at least deserves consideration for a spot on that list. Either way, it is a rap/hip-hop album well worth at least one listen, if not more.
Veteran rapper Evidence’s fifth full-length solo studio album Weather Or Not is another strong, solid effort from the Dilated People’s MC. It is an album that proves from start to finish, to be an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hip-hop/rap albums. That is proven through its lyrical and musical content – both alone and together. Those overall positive lyrical theme and infectious beats will keep listeners entertained and engaged throughout, and agreeing in the end that this record in fact deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hip-hop/rap records. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Weather or Not is available online now along with all of Evidence’s latest news and more at:
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