EVOLVE is well known for keeping his raps and track selections ultra raw, and while I don’t want to speak on behalf of the man, I imagine that much of this ethos comes from a deep appreciation of New York‘s creation and eternal influence on the hip-hop culture. The main reason I feel comfortable in making this assumption and asserting it publicly is due to EVOLVE X MIC MELT X DJ EZ DAVE PRESENT: THE NNY EP(THE BROOKLYN SESSIONS), the latest release from the always working EVOLVE. With verbal assistance from Mic Melt, Banga K, Junclassic, CHG, Pitch Black and Aimss, production provided by Stellar Born, Deep of 2HB, The Strangers and DJ EZ Dave (who also provides the cuts), this is an all-star effort that goes seven for seven in terms of bangers. Peep this one asap, share it around, and if you can, thrown EVOLVE and company a few bucks to cop this one.
Whenever the homie EVOLVE hits me up with new tracks, I pay attention, and recently, he hit me up with a collaboration birthed completely out of his admiration for the Sacramento-based rock band Will Haven. The track, a remix of the 1999 song I’ve Seen My Fate off of their album WHVN, is given a boost by the insightful and piercing lyricism of EVOLVE, whose naturally gruff voice connects well with the grime and grit that Will Haven exudes. If you’re an open-minded music fan who doesn’t mind a bit of cross-pollination in your music tastes, then definitely check this one out!
Fans of boom-bap, raw and honest hip-hop are hopefully hip to EVOLVE by now, as the Texas resident stays embracing the street aesthetic that made hip-hop what it was during the 1990s, arguably the heyday of hip-hop’s creativity and cultural growth. With the assistance of DJ PROOF on production, the track SLANG BANG plays like a brutally honest admission of fully embracing every bit of the grittiness that makes the dark side of hip-hop so enjoyable. The drum heavy, dark and minimalist track serves as the perfect backdrop for EVOLVE‘s stream of consciousness flow, which is always on point and full of rhymes and references within rhymes and references. Check this one out asap, cop it if you can, and spread it around so everyone can get down.
There is no doubting that the monolithic culture we know as Hip-Hop was birthed in New York, but as the culture has grown, so has its reach and influence in not only the United States, but the world. As a native Texan, I find myself spiritually connected to other Texas-based MCs that understand and respect New York and it’s firm place in the culture, and perhaps this is why it brings me great joy to hear Basics. The prolific Texas duo that is EVOLVE and Mic Melt have always brought a grittiness and complexity to their artistry that is clearly influenced by the legions of classic New York artists, so to see them connect with New York-based MC Banga K, producer Deep of 2HB and dj Ez Dave during a recent trip to Brooklyn in this latest single feels like providence. The track is a banger, of course, with the perspectives of those from outside and inside the “city that never sleeps” echoing one another beautifully. If you dig your Hip-Hop with plenty of head nod energy, then cop this track immediately and spread it around.
Evolve and Chef Mike are back at it again! Dig the lore wrap-up straight from the Common and Normal camp :
“After what can only be described as a horrific final stand, Ciggy Burns‘ life was cut short, however he’s managed to find his way back to the land of the living, vowing to collect debts owed and despite his gruesome appearance, win over the hearts and asses of soccer moms everywhere. This is the continuation of Ciggy‘s tale as spoken by Ciggy himself with background noise provided by undead gangster turned producer, Luc Brazi.”
Back From the Dead is a short but effective power-punch of a project, so definitely check it out, share it around, and if you’ve got a few bucks to spare, throw it these cats’ way!
If one were to go by the example that the homie EVOLVE has set, then people would collectively have the craziest work ethic ever. If more than a few months goes by and I haven’t seen news of a new EVOLVE project or collaboration, then I know either something is going on in his personal life or he’s incubating another masterpiece, with the second situation being the case more often than not. For Hustler S. Thompson, the self-titled debut for the collaborative project of the same name featuring EVOLVE rapping over the production of Chef Mike and Tommy the Collector, EVOLVE does what he does over a selection of instrumentals from the production duo’s previously released Mr. Brown / Mr. White tape. If you’re familiar with EVOLVE and company, then you’ll already know what you’re getting : headnod-worthy beats showcasing methodical, introspective and sharp lyricism. Cop the album if you have a buck, stream it if not, and tell everyone you know about it either way.
Check it out… some raw rap live and direct from the SUNGODS, the collective featuring EVOLVE and IBE HUSTLES. These cats are all about the in your face approach, so it makes sense that the video for GR!+S would emulate this by literally having the pair deliver their message in a fourth-wall breaking manner. Dig the video, leave a like and a comment if it moves you, and spread it around for all to enjoy!
While most artists are trying to figure out how to regain the momentum lost from COVID-19 and the pandemic, Evolve‘s only problem seems to be determining how not to flood his audience in his creative outputs. Gourmet Dust marks his 5th offering in less than 6 months, with this one being a collaboration between himself and Detroit-based producer Chef Mike, and the quality has only risen as the quantity of releases within this short span of time grows. The duo team up for some raw, gritty headbanger tracks reminiscent of that golden early 1990s stretch where what you said was just as important as how you said, and none of it mattered at all without gripping production behind it. The Ibe Hustles feature is a nice touch, rounding out a brief but powerful sonic onslaught worth much more than the $1 they are charging for the record. Get on that immediately, pass this one around for others to follow suit, and don’t sleep on your local underground kings.
I’ve been a fan, peer and friend of EVOLVE for quite a few years now, and usually I’ve been able to witness his wins, ascension in the underground rap world, and collaborations with a number of MCs. As a friend, however, I’ve also seen the rough times, and I know that 2020 took a much heavier toll on EVOLVE outside of the normal pain it gave us. With the help of PURPLEVILLAIN, EVOLVE has been able to turn his painful journey into a deeply introspective and openly moving collection of songs titled MAN – MADE MESS. While EVOLVE is usually known for clever wordplay and in-your-face, aggressive raps, but hearing him be so open and honest really works. If you’re familiar with EVOLVE‘s work and are looking for a different shade in the spectrum, or you’re looking for a rare glimpse into what makes him tick as an individual, then don’t sleep on MAN – MADE MESS.
It’s partially fitting that EVOLVE would drop an album titled Oblivious Animals… the homie is anything but oblivious, but I can certainly verify that he is a rhyme animal. Oblivious Animals, if my calculations are correct, marks the 6th release of the year for EVOLVE, and this one is entirely produced by frequent collaborator Jones Got Music. Those in the know already know what it is when it comes to an EVOLVE release… dark beats, sharp rhymes and gritty vibes come at you in waves. There’s really no need to waste words here… if you dig hip-hop and you have half a brain, there’s really no excuse for not checking this one out, sharing it around and supporting if you can.