Los Angeles-based emcee and producer Evidence — born Micheal Taylor Perretta — 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. And 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 extraordinarily 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 Don, Daringer, Khrysis, and QThree [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.”
Last month, I wrote about Unlearning Vol 1’s second single “Pardon Me.” Clocking in at a little over three minutes, “Pardon Me” is yet another example of grown shit hip-hop, centered around a shimmering, 70s soul jazz production reminiscent of Pete Rock serving as a warm and comfortable bed for the JOVM mainstays contemplative verses reflecting on mortality, hard won lessons, adulthood and being a parent and artist – and how those roles can be contradictory and difficult to mange. And throughout Evidence peppers references to other emcees, including a reference to Kool G. Rap‘s “Ill Street Blues.”
Unlearning Vol 1‘s latest single “All Of That Said” finds the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstay collaborating with Boldy James. Prominently featuring a soulful and cinematic sample featuring soaring strings, buzzing guitars and chopped up vocals, the song sees the JOVM mainstay and Boldy James reminiscing on the long and hard journey to achieve what they’ve achieved both personally and professionally. And while seemingly a bit world-weary, there’s a profound wisdom within both emcees bars — the wisdom that comes from struggle, set backs and victories small and large. Like I said before, this is adult shit coming from adult places.
The recently released video for “All That Said” continues the JOVM mainstay’s ongoing collaboration with Stephen Vanasco: The video features the two emcees near LAX during golden hour as planes take off just above them. And much like its predecessor, the video captures the song’s contemplative and brooding air.