Born Micheal Taylor Perretta, the Los Angeles, CA-based emcee and producer Evidence has established himself as one of hip-hop’s most accomplished emcees and producers: as a solo artist and as a producer, Perretta has worked with Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Defari, Planet Asia, DJ Premier, WestsideGunn, Prodigy, Rapsody, Aloe Blacc, Action Bronson, Atmosphere’s Slug, Cypress Hill and a lengthy list of others. He won a Grammy for his co-production on Kanye West’s critically applauded, breakthrough debut album The College Dropout. He also has won two Juno Awards for his production work for Canadian hip-hop act Swollen Members. But he’s arguably best known for being a member of beloved hip-hop act Dilated Peoples with Rakaa Iriscience and DJ Babu.
Evidence has recorded and released five albums with his Dilated Peoples bandmates. As a solo artist, the Los Angeles-based emcee and producer has released three full-length albums, including 2018’s critically and commercially successful effort Weather Or Not and an EP. He has also released an album with The Alchemist as Step Brothers. Managing to remain busy, Evidence will be releasing his fourth full-length solo album Unlearning Vol. 1 through Rhymesayers on June 25, 2021.
Reportedly, the 14 track album pairs Evidence’s own production work with the likes of The Alchemist, Nottz, Sebb Bash, Animoss, Mr. Green, V Dom Daringer, Khrysis and QThree’s EARDRUM showcasing the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstay’s ability to collaborate with a wide and eclectic array of producers while still crafting a cohesive album. Additionally, the album features a small cast of guests that includes Boldy James, Conway The Machine, Fly Anakin, Navy Blue and Murkage Dave. Recently Evidence offered insight into the transition from Weather Or Not into the writing and recording of the material that would become Unlearning Vol 1: “I don’t feel like I’m Evidence, the character. I feel like I’m me,” he told DJ Booth, adding “I don’t mind evolving publicly.”
Unlearning Vol 1‘s second and latest single “Pardon Me” is yet another example of grown shit hip-hop. Clocking in at a little over three minutes, “Pardon Me” is centered around a shimmering, 70s soul jazz production reminiscent of Pete Rock serving as a warm and comfortable bed for Evidence’s contemplative verses reflecting on mortality, hard won lessons, adulthood, being a parent and being an artist and how all of those roles can be contradictory and difficult to manage. Throughout he peppers references to other emcees, including a reference to Kool G. Rap‘s “Ill Street Blues.”
Directed by Stephen Vanasco, the recently released video follows Evidence through a day in which he takes a drive through the Santa Monica Mountains to clear his head. Pulling over to the side of the road, the Los Angeles-based artist smokes and then delivers the song’s contemplative verses during golden hour and as the sun begins to set, which adds to the contemplative mood.