Album review – Evidence’s Cats & Dogs
Cats & Dogs was by far one of my most anticipated albums of the year for me, so I was nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my self-imposed hype like Tha Carter IV and Watch The Throne. Plus, remember how I interviewed Ev a couple months ago? I will definitely remember that for the rest of my life as one of the higher points because I was interviewing one of my favorite rappers, and he was super cool! As a result, I was double nervous. I mean, I didn’t doubt that Ev could make another great record, but I was still nervous nonetheless.
After listening to the evidence at hand, the verdict is in: I love Cats & Dogs (pun intended). Almost two months after it dropped, and I’m honestly so excited to write about it. I’m literally sitting here, on my couch with Law & Order playing in the background, feeling suddenly energized by it [ed. note: I wrote this over the weekend]. That’s how much I enjoyed the record, and I hope that’s reflected in my ensuing essay.
Cats & Dogs still continues with the weather motif like Evidence’s previous records, but it felt a little darker to me. Coincidentally, as Ev said both to me and in other interviews, Cats & Dogs would be a lot more personal, a lot more real. He raps about topics like not needing love, and being broke, two things that aren’t exactly rosy, and his realness is largely what made it feel slightly darker to me. But then again, I gravitate toward the darker, less happy music for some reason.
“Liner Notes,” his cleverly disguised introduction to the album, captivated me immediately. I wouldn’t know that it was even supposed to be an intro if I hadn’t watched an interview of him saying that, and I love the Alchemist beat. In fact, Alchemist’s production on Cats & Dogs was stellar, and it’s purely coincidental that most of my favorite tracks were produced by him, and by most of my favorite tracks, I mean like half the album. Picking favorites is so difficult.
I would say that “Red Carpet” is probably my favorite track off the album, but I suck at picking favorites, so I’ll say that it’s one of the many highlights. “You” with that DJ Premier beat is dope, “James Hendrix” is out of control in a good way, “Late for the Sky” is catchy, ”Crash” is a sonic crash that somehow just works, and the the 13th song is missing. Just pause for a second, and ponder how trill it is that Ev just doesn’t have a track 13. He goes on to explain in the beginning of track 14, “To Be Continued,” that “Ten commandments, twenty-four hours, The thirteenth floor was missing in the towers.” So cool. Ev is that guy. I don’t even really know what I mean by that, but it seemed appropriate for me to write that, and purposely leaving out a track 13 is super clever.
“It Wasn’t Me” falls after “Red Carpet” and is an incredibly dope song because without blatantly doing so, it teaches the listener so much about Ev. In fact, the more that I sit here and ponder it, the more I might like it more than “Red Carpet,” thusly refuting what I said. Ev explores with the literal definition of “evidence,” and then slips in so many interesting bits and pieces about himself, like his trademark flow (see; “Mr. Slow Flow” from The Weatherman LP), he’s not Buket (although commonly thought to be), he’s still kind of technically considered underground, (“I’m halfway to famous, halfway away from infamous” is slick), and how he got his name Evidence, among other things.
I’m really going to try to not write about every song, but “I Don’t Need Love” is another great song on the record. The driving, unapologetic force behind Evidence and Khrysis’ production compliments his lyrics that sound practically defiant. It might not be happy, or romantic, but it’s real.
The last song that I’ll touch on is “Well Runs Dry,” produced by Sid Roams. I love the instrumental, and the sound effects are super trill throughout. I also enjoy how real Ev is throughout the whole song, talking about money issues, and somehow not making it sound dry. I can definitely relate to not having money (am I going to SXSW or am I just going to buy sneakers?), and only being inspired to blog on a momentary basis.
By far, Cats & Dogs was one of my favorite albums of this year, and had the misfortune to drop right after For The Glory, and we all know how much I’ve loved that project. But knowing that, I hope you realize how great Cats & Dogs had to be, in order to break me from For The Glory. Having met Ev, and him being super cool, makes me like this album so much more. I like anyone who is nice to me.
Absolutely and unequivocally unrelated to anything, but the color scheme of my blog sure looks lovely with the Cats & Dogs cover.
Find me elsewhere!
- Download: Drumma Boy’s 4th of July Playlist July 4, 2012
- Hot song – Chief Keef ft. Fat Trel “Russian Roulette” #TrapTuesdays May 15, 2012
- Hot video – Juicy J “Won’t Miss Ya” #TrapTuesdays May 15, 2012
- Hot video – Waka Flocka Flame ft. Trey Songz “I Don’t Really Care” #TrapTuesdays May 1, 2012
- Pharrell to release a coffee table book April 28, 2012
- Big Ghost Chronicles
- Billionaire Boys Club
- Blogs is Watching
- DC to BC
- Dirty Glove Bastard
- Fake Shore Drive
- Hip Hop Congress
- Hip Hop Republican
- Melody Ehsani
- Members Only
- Nice Kicks
- Passion Weiss
- Posted in the Parking Lot
- Sandra Rose
- Southern Hospitality
- The Audacity of Dope
- The Hip Hop Update
- The LupEND Blog
- The Smoking Section
- Vibe Magazine
- XXL Magazine
- You Heard That New