The Weatherman LP
"Raised in Santa Monica til' the divorce/six years old/I couldn't see what was coming of course/the plan/ Mom bounced on Old Man/ then we moved to the Venice sand/ A young youth seen gangs first hand/ fake address for school/ two educations/ rich friends then
back to my land."- "Born in LA" - Evidence
Those bars, a nod to Raekwon's verse from “C.R.E.A.M”, are from the L.A. anthem on Evidence’s solo debut album The Weatherman LP and paint the backdrop that catapulted him on the course that would shape his life and career.
Evidence’s affinity with hip-hop and the culture began in the early eighties, with his parent's divorce and subsequent move from the affluent city of Santa Monica to neighboring Venice Beach. Raised by his single mother of Russian decent with his Italian father less and less in the picture, Evidence took solace in his new backyard where his favorite pastimes became break-dancing at the former Venice Pavilion and skate-boarding with the legendary Venice Z-Boys.
By the early nineties and in addition to becoming a well known graffiti artist, painting hip hop inspired hieroglyphics under the name "VANE," a fateful move next door to QD3, son of legendary producer Quincy Jones, Evidence discovered his true calling. QD3, an accomplished West Coast producer, ("To Live and Die in L.A."- Tupac, "Ghetto Bird"-Ice Cube, "I got the Knack"- Everlast) became one of Evidence's major influences in his pursuit to create music. "At night I would hear a loud thumping coming from the back yard next door and it wouldn't stop until early in the morning” says Evidence recalling those early days. “I could tell that they weren't just playing music but sounded like music was being created.”
Shortly after meeting QD3, Evidence teamed with the likeminded Rakaa to form the highly praised group Dilated Peoples and after the success of their 1997 single "Third Degree" b/w "Confidence" and "Global Dynamics" on ABB Records – and the addition of DJ Babu to the fold a year later -- the group’s buzz exploded out of the underground and quickly became a fixture on the hip hop tour circuit. They hoped their success would serve as a platform for solo projects, much as the Wu-Tang Clan's success had done before them.
Four critically acclaimed albums, countless performances around the globe, and outside production work-including tracks for the Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Swollen Members, Defari, Planet Asia and co- production on Kanye West's debut album College Dropout which earned him a Grammy, Evidence gives his fans a spectacular taste of his own individual talent on his debut solo album The Weatherman LP (ABB Records).
Through his work as one-third of Dilated Peoples, Evidence became a torchbearer and champion of hip-hop culture. "This is for people who get what I do,” says Evidence. "If I'm going to come out independently and have the freedom to do what I want, there's no better way to represent. I want to be a leader and carve out a new path."
The Weatherman LP erases the misconception that it never rains in Southern California, as Evidence's reign over the rap world is imminent. With production from The Alchemist, Sid Roams (producers Joey Chavez and Bravo), Jake One, DJ Babu, DJ Khalil, and
Evidence himself, the high-powered collection boasts brilliant beats that perfectly compliment Evidence's impressive lyrical scope.
One of the most powerful songs on the album is "Believe in Me" featuring RES ("They Say Vision," "Golden Boys"). "I think people can tell when an artist isn't confident in themselves and on this song I let the audience know I have something to say and I am going to stand behind it. When you come and see me on stage I am going to look you in the eyes and make that connection, I want the audience to know that I am ready to take the responsibility of being a leader, something they can believe in."
Evidence displays innovative layers of his artistry on the revealing "I Still Love You" and "Chase The Clouds Away;" both tributes to his mother, who succumbed to cancer more than two years ago. She was the inspiration behind both songs and Evidence's life. At
the highest point in Dilated's career, with a hit single "This Way" and on tour with Kanye West to support the 2004 release of Neighborhood Watch, Evidence received a phone call that would change his life forever. He left the tour immediately and his mother's sudden death two weeks later propelled him into a depressive state that made him seriously contemplate his career. Writing and performing "I Still Love You" was emotionally challenging for Evidence, a single child whose mother was his best friend and confidante. "I produced it, I rapped on it and I recorded it by myself with nobody in the room because I couldn't have anybody around when I was doing it," he explains. "It's the one time you're definitely going to get all of me."
Evidence constructed "Chase The Clouds Away" after coming out of the disheartened state he fell into after his mother passed. "When my parent's got divorced my mother began taking pictures of me and realized she had a talent...I saw her make something out of nothing. She turned her talent for taking pictures into a career and that is what I ended up doing in a way by making music and rapping in my bedroom then taking that product around the world to become my profession."
With the release of The Weatherman LP, Evidence will continue to build upon a new brand fueled by his re-inspired work ethic. "I am not relying on the success of Dilated Peoples to push this album, while they are featured on it and heavily co-signing my solo venture I understand that I am going to have to work twice as hard and get back in front of the people and re-introduce myself through shows, my music, and constant day-to-day networking with my fans. I am not married; I don't have kids, so I can stay on the road all year long if that is what it takes…so at the end of the day what I put in is what I get out and it will all be a reflection of me, Evidence."