Evidence – Cats & Dogs

Evidence – Cats & Dogs
Rhymesayers: 2011

The name Evidence is healthy in the rap game. As one third of Dilated People he helped usher in a brand of underground west coast hip hop that was post-gangster, but rooted to a street ethos. With co-signs from vets like The Liks and Aceyalone, and work with other up-n-comers like Planet Asia, Defari, Krondon, Alchemist, and Joey Chavez (now half of Sid Roams), Evidence (as part of Dilated) captivated the late 90s LA streets with a wealth of great music. A decade later Ev is solo and continues to provide that west coast dank with a voice and beat selection that could make his contemporaries envious. Four years after the well received Weatherman LP, and the strong EP The Layover in 2008, Evidence’s Cats & Dogs is his best work since lacing us with Expansion Team alongside his brethren Raka and DJ Babu back in 2001. It’s an album that has enough bap for Ev’s “old headz”, while finding his groove within the newer sonic tapestries of the rap world to capture the ears of the youngins.

Without hesitation I’ll state this album is its most dynamic when Alchemist is behind the boards. His five productions are easily the highlights of Cats & Dogs. Al’s beat on the opener “The Liner Notes” is all his moody string chop glory inside a haze of sonic accents and under-stated but melodic drums, capped off by Aloe Blacc’s pitch-perfect harmony. But Alchemist’s shinning diamond is the anthemic well spring “The Red Carpet”, featuring Raekwon in high-quality form. Evidence laces the track with righteous poetics, but Ras Kass’ stand-out verse captivates with its heart-on-his sleeve autobio that reminds us why we hold him in such high regard when it comes to rhymin’. “Fame”, produced by Charli Brown, also gives listeners some high-octane no bullshit street shit featuring verses from P and Roc Marciano. Here Prodigy is in full H.N.I.C. mode, none of his recent half-asleep lulling us into a coma rap. Prodigy goes the fuck in with all his vivid tuff talk charisma.

I know some may be saying damn that’s a lot of praise for people not named Evidence on his album, but I think it also points to the reality that Ev knows who to collaborate with and where to place them; Cats & Dogs IS Evidence’s trademark. Solo songs like the clever call and respond-ish “It Wasn’t Me”, and the futurist audio war games of “Crash”, are just as great as the songs mentioned above. While Cats & Dogs is a bit lengthy and uneven (and I won’t even try to touch the cats-n-dogs concept), Evidence plays to his and his rhyme friends’ strengths. It’s an album that adds to the west coast’s dominance of rap in 2011. While not as vehemently west coast as other releases, it’s the west with a veteran’s world view and perspective. Evidence is reflective, honest, and confident within and throughout the album making the Primo produced monster “The Epilogue”, the symbolic and perfect closer. Don’t sleep on Cats & Dogs.

3.5 out of 5

17 thoughts on “Evidence – Cats & Dogs

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  1. at least a 4/5 !!!!! wtf you guys suck at rating, you should have a fan rating system that uses the average + your wak rating since its so subjective based on one writer that might be biased.

  2. This Frank_Be dude takes constructive criticism way too heavily. This album is at least a 4/5 more like 4.5. Best Hip-Hop album this year.

  3. 90s Standards. = 2.5/5 – good average score.
    Todays Standards = 3.5/5 – really good score.

    not bad, not great. had some sick tracks though.

    will i stop listening to it in a week like J.Cole’s album? i dont know. We will have to wait and see.



  4. surprised he put that old ass premo beat on there… it’s already been bodied

  5. Solid score for the album. I’ve been a supporter of E-V ever since he started his solo work, and I must say that this is honestly his weakest project. I still think The Weatherman LP was the better solo album, and the Layover EP was very dope. It just seems like he played it a little safe on this one. “The Red Carpet” is my sh** though. Word up.

  6. this album is at least 4/5, come one now. 4.5 in my eyes tho

  7. Yes, best album IN MY OPINION. And I do listen to a lot of rap. Did I say I “played it FOR my little sister” ? I said while she is in my car. You know, when I give her a ride somewhere?
    It’s my opinion. You obviously have different tastes in music and that’s fine, but you should probably sharpen up your reading comprehension skills before you reply to someone’s post.

  8. Exactly.

  9. If this the best album you’ve heard in a long time, I suggest you listen to more rap. This album while very good, will not even crack my top 10.

    And play for your little sister huh? I guess your version came without Roc Marciano, Prodigy, Terminology or Alchemist’s verses you know about guns, drugs, fuckin women and beating up chumps?

  10. Uhhh??? Cause a 3.5 is a good score. You’re acting like I gave it a 2 or a 2.5. Back when I was growing up when the Source gave an album a 3.5 I knew it was more than likely worth my time, but I guess times have changed and a 3.5 means an album is trash?

    And I kindly disagree with Ev’s rapping performance. He’s nothing more or less than what he’s been over 15 years positive/clever content, good delivery and picking beats to match his great voice.

  11. I concur. At least a 4/5 in my opinion.

  12. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! This is the most complete album I’ve heard in a long time. Start to finish, no skipping, and it flows nicely. Rhymes and beats are on point.
    I can actually play this album when my little sister or other non-rap people are in my car because there’s almost no “bitch, slut, eat a dick, pussy” typical hip-hop stuff on here.
    Very dope album. I disagree with the rating. It’s at least a 4.5/5, but it’s a 5/5 in my book.

  13. What’s poor about this?

  14. the reviews on this site are pretty poor to be honest, the rest of the site is of a high quality tho.

  15. nah its ranked right. 3.5. beats that arent alchemist are kinda… not good… and lyrical content needs structure. still better than 90% out. not better than the away team tho.

  16. its hard for me to understand how you could end the review telling viewers not to sleep then giving it a 3.5/5
    this album is rock solid straight up & down.
    the production alone deserves 4/5
    ev’s lyrics on here go above & beyond what he’s done thus far
    & this isnt a cd where there are a few good tracks scattered around.this album is an ALBUM! fire all the way thru
    Oh & dont sleep on that “where you come from?” track.beat is crazy & they go IN

  17. I think this album is more like 4/5, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. This album is cohesive, flows well and in my opinion is the best album released this year. Both technically superior production and more lyrical than most releases this year!

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