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Evidence, Cats & Dogs

It’s easy to forget that Evidence has been around since the late 1990s. The Los Angeles based rapper/producer played low-key the last few years. Cats & Dogs is only his second solo album since Dilated Peoples’ unofficial hiatus in ‘07.

If you’ve heard Ev’s previous work, this album won’t pack too many surprises—an that’s a good thing. He’s still spitting a measured slow flow backed by thumping beats and scratched hooks. This might sound like criticism, but salute Evidence for doing what he does well. That one flow keeps pace with churning strings on “Strangers” and matches Roc Marciano and Prodigy over the lurching keys of “Fame.”

Evidence’s Rozay-worthy ear for beats and complimentary guests keep the album listenable: DJ Premier gifts him a trademark bass-heavy banger with “You,” while Alchemist loops wailing soul for “The Red Carpet,” setting up reflective verses from Ev, Raekwon and Ras Kass. Sid Roams’ epic Rocky synths on “To Be Continued…” offer a perfect stage for Ev’s braggadocio, and “Late For The Sky” unites Ev with fellow underground greats Slug and Aesop Rock over reverberating guitar.

Though it runs a little long, Cats & Dogs is a banging, consistent platter that ought to satisfy backpackers and hard-rocks alike. —Aaron Matthews

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  • T


    XXL on crack?

  • A.C. Says 10%

    sm ‘MFn’ h….They Must Be!!!

  • swype-matic

    Don’t even have to read this review to know XXL is straight ass.

  • http://xxl 40water619

    “That one flow…”? WTF? That’s what’s wrong with all these ‘rappers’ these days; switching up their flow waaay too much. It’s good to display versatility but not on one song. Maybe from song to song or album to album show growth or whatever. But now day one songs sounds like 4 diff records lacks cohesiveness. Ev is a throwback… and that is a GOOD thing.

  • DJ Postman

    XXL has fallen off. Back in the day this would have gotten a XL rating. They’re trying to say Evidence’s album is just as good as a Gucci Mane album? Come on! It’s really pathetic that it’s come to this.

  • KingGhost519

    I’m a fan of both Evidence and Phonte. They gave this an “L” and gave Phonte’s album and “XL.” I actually like this album better than Phonte’s. This deserve an “XL.” Get it together XXL.

  • Burke

    This review is lame. The album is less than an hour long, so that’s hardly “runs a little long.” Someone probably told him he had to give it an L so he had to come up with reasons why. “That one flow…” I guess the reviewer didn’t listen to Liner Notes or Well Runs Dry.

  • Stephen

    Should have been an xl. Xxl mag is turning into pop stars magazine.

  • Alan

    I officially discredit XXL as a legit hip hop mag. Fucken joke of a review.

  • jurassicmarc

    The album is fire, just awesome I think its gotta be my album of 2011 and only had it one day, all the singles are sick.
    As for Ev’s flow aint broke dont fix it. Rhymesayers have signed a winner here but anyone who got The Platform way back knows this. XL no doubt.

  • Pingback: hiphop » Evidence: A Conscious Rapper Who Doesn’t Mind Being Called As Much – LA Weekly (blog)

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/reviews/2011/09/lil-b-black-flame/ jordan

    XXL scuks. They always get shit wrong. Cats and Dogs real hip hop album. best i have heard in a while. Easliy better than the carter 4.

  • blah

    next to elmatic this is the best shit that came out in 2011. straight banging, you just need to knod your head when you hear it. pure hip hop.
    this review is a fucking joke. honestly, young jeezy and lil wayne get higher rating and thats washed out pop music.
    this is some original hip hop, good beats, deep lyrics, plus evidence is one of few artists nowadays that still got cuts and scratches on a lot of songs, i respect him for keeping the good shit alive.

  • Kayaman

    Fuck what you think XXL….you don’t know real shit if it was standing infront of you

  • Eat it Nigguz!!!



    WTF? Who the hell reviewed this?
    This is almost a top 5 album drop of 2011.

    The track Red Carpet is banana’s along with You.

    The album is on point & only cops a L? Fucking disgusting XXL.

  • Thrill Murray

    This album should be an XXL. It is amazing. Every track is fire. Reviewer needs to stop smoking the Kush and come down to Earth

  • bill


  • np

    Beats : XXL

    Lyrics : XL

    Originality : XL

  • Bekalu

    XXL YOU ARE THE WORST REVIEWERS EVER. I FUX WIT HIPHOPDX.COM CAUSE THEY GIVE TRUE REVIEWS, NOT STUPID RATINGS LIKE GIVING EVIDENCE AN L! A FUCKING L ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! THIS IS XXL MATERIAL! NOTE HE LEFT TRACK 13 FOR A REASON: “An interesting point about the track list is that there is no track 13. Ev speaks on it: “There is no track 13 on purpose. The first line of To Be Continued starts “10 commandments, 24 hours, the 13th floor was missing from the towers.” The Masons, any buildings built by them leave the 13th floor out. 13 is not just a lucky number, but an unlucky number too. People use it both ways. For me to leave it [the 13th track] blank and then explain why in the first line of the next track [To Be Continued] to me is genius. I don’t think there’s ever been a missing 13th track on an album, ever.”


  • JayFox

    Fire Aaron Matthews ….. This Album is fuckin amazing….I can listen to every track without skippin a song…. worst review ever., did he even listen to the album closely smh XXL acting stupid….
    this album deserves a XL …

  • marlon 99

    This review is shit out my ass,you guys support bullshit rap, the name of your mag should be xxs size two undies, EV all day raining cats and dogs f#*! your bull shit mag no good for whiping my ass

  • Keven

    Aaron, did you really listen to this album? Your review was janky. Ev reps the West harder than all these other cats. The dude is spittin’ about real life situations, used the power of viral video to market his album independently, and still kept it OG.

    XL in my book.

  • http://Facebook.com/drodeezee Destinee

    Wow, this album was straight legit and on point, it deserves way more than a “L” it’s an album straight from the heart… he has truly grown as an artist.

  • J

    wassup with XXL lol… this album of the year… EV up next!

  • nagrecords

    I won’t confess to knowing a lot about hip-hop and rap; however, even though I’m over 30, whiter than Casper and a fan of Bruno Mars and Kylie Minogue, I can tell that this album is brilliant. It’s refreshing to hear an album not full of auto-tuning, and the samples are wicked…. Yes, I said wicked and I’m proud of it.

  • diglet

    I think Ev stepped it up for sure, his flow is the same quality it always is and obviously his flow touches on some real issues, which barely anyone is doing atm. I think the album does deserve an L tho, although there were some deadset bangers at the start (tracks 1-6) which were fucking amazing, it kinda fell off and lost that vibe through the middle until “Where You From”. those tracks 7-11 i couldve done without for sure.

  • http://Canibuscentral.com Ripthajacker

    what the fuck is wrong with you XXL you just showed you are nothing more than money whore sellouts who stab people in the back for paychecks. rating carter 4 higher than cats and dogs. are u stupid as fuck, in the lil wayne review you actually say that he is doing nothing special original or new but say his fans will be happy. SO WHAT lil wayne fans will be pissed so you give him a high rating?

  • http://www.jaymznavi.com Jaymz Navi


  • Bobbo

    XXL is wired on mainstream trash.. This album deserves a way higher rating. XXL does not deserve to review this.. Stick to rating all that bubble gum mainstream garbage.

  • Yanni

    XXL IS FULL OF SHIT. Pathetic idiots

  • Landroz

    This magazine is a RAG… I wouldn’t even use it to wipe my ass. I DON’T KNOW WHO DECIDED on this REVIEW.. Any way XXL is a DISGRACE, & does not understand REAL HIP HOP.

  • JahMusic

    ohhh my lord are you mad?
    XXL who did this review, the CEO of BET?
    This is a XL album I haven’t bought your mag for a long time unfortunately I ended up on your website. Big mistake of mine, well your review has nothing to do with this album.

    This album is a great piece of work the flow the musical arrangements are tight! It is not to long it can last with very little feat. and brings you some grown up hip-hop!

  • dos2

    XXL “Pop music on a higher level” This CD is better than most crap getting XLs

  • kickyourass

    this proofs that xxl has nothing to do with real hiphop..

  • https://soundcloud.com/mrlutheriddler/ Mr Lu the Riddler

    XXL is proven to have the most UNcredible review system.. mad bias