Dilated Peoples – Live

Islington Academy
27.02.12

Dilated Peoples are one of those groups that you might not listen to in a while, but when you do, you remember just how awesome they are. Thankfully, due to Evidence‘s brilliant Cats & Dogs solo record on Rhymesayers last year, the Dilated catalogue had been getting a good airing in the past few months , building up a lot excitement for the arrival of this show in North London.

Having missed the support, we hit the venue just as DJ Babu hopped up behind the decks and introducing the two MCs, Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience, by blasting out Live On Stage and immediately the tone was set – the crowd shouted, screamed and chanted along, hands thrust firmly in the air. Though the show wasn’t a sell-out, it was comfortably full and you would be forgiven for thinking there were twice as many people in attendance.

The rappers played off each other with glee, Rakaa dropped his verses from under a hat which almost covered his eyes contrasting Ev’s trademark laid back flow as they dived into both new and old tracks, from You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run and Back Again to the classic Worst Comes To Worst. With every order from Ev, the crowd pumped more noise towards the stage, something all three members reveled in as they each showcased their own individual talents.

Babu’s scratch routine was a lesson in turntablism, speeding up his hand movements to that of a blur, a mini-whirlwide on the decks, Rakaa dropping tracks from his Crown of Thorns record and Evidence wowing the crowd with a rendition of the Premo-produced You, mixing in beats from Gangstarr’s Full Clip and Royce’s Boom.

The setlist provided a greatest hits of their stellar career, never once dipping in energy. Once the show was over and the crowd dispersed, the overall feeling was that of having had the most fun in a long, long time. With a new album on the cards this year, let’s hope it’s not long before they’re back smashing it in London again.

Abjekt.

Evidence

Cats & Dogs
Rhymesayers Entertainment

When Dilated Peoples MC Evidence announced he was signing to independent rap heavyweights Rhymesayers Entertainment, a number of eyebrows were raised. However, two years down the line, the LA native has finally dropped his second solo album and the label has proved the perfect home for the record, continuing the tradition of fine releases.

This album doesn’t try to be fancy – there’s no sampling obscure hipster indie acts, there’s no turns with Evidence trying his hand at singing – this is a straight up, no holds barred, rap record and it’s all the better for it. Mr Slow Flow laces slamming beats from the likes of long-time friend Alchemist and legendary DJ Premier to fantastic effect, permeated by quality guest spots from the likes of Slug, Aesop Rock, Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Raekwon.

His distinctive voice delivers perfect line after perfect line with lyrics that are both meaningful and yet never convaluted. It says a lot for his talent that he’s able to rap in the way he always did and yet still seem fresh and as such is certain to gain some new fans on this record as well as please his legions of old fans who loved his Weatherman LP so much.

So yes, this is a rap album, nothing more, nothing less. But when you hear his flow over the beats on It Wasn’t Me, You and To Be Continued, you won’t want anything else. Evidence is an underrated gem and hopefully this album will turn more people onto his undoubted talent.

Trillzilla.

It Wasn’t Me – New Evidence video

Evidence has dropped another set of visuals from his new album.

It Wasn’t Me is taken from his Cats & Dogs album, out on Rhymesayers Entertainment and is a perfect example of what to expect from the record. Crank it and get your neck snapping, this one bangs.

Don’t forget Evidence is part of the Rhymesayers European Tour which hits London’s Electric Ballroom on November 7th alongside Atmosphere, Blueprint, Brother Ali and Grieves & Budo.

Soundset Festival line up announced

Minnesota’s Soundset Festival announced their line up for 2011 yesterday and it’s a biggun.

Atmosphere take their usual slot as headliners and this year will be ably supported by Big Boi, De La Soul, the entire Doomtree crew, Dilated Peoples, Slaughterhouse, Brother Ali, Edan, Looptroop, Zion I, Blueprint, DJ Abilities, Exile and many more.

It’s been the highlight of the hip hop calendar for the past three years and is no doubt going to be the same this year. We should be there again so keep those eyes peeled for a review. Check out below for Wiz Khalifa killing it last year.