Evidence Unlearning Vol 1

Evidence is back with his fourth solo album ‘Unlearning Vol. 1‘ and from start to finish, it’s a well crafted, clever and interesting listen.

Branching out from his previous ‘weather’ themed offerings, Unlearning Vol. 1 is a modern, envelope pushing, complete hip hop album. The incredibly gifted lyricist is able to create track after track of thought provoking, articulate, well delivered content and has a fantastic ear for picking beats. All of this culminates with an album, that is interesting, intricate and individual – while also remaining accessible to even the most casual of hip hop fans.

Ev has been on the scene for a long time, initially as part of the culture in a creative sense as a graf artist, but of course we all know his role in Dilated Peoples AND his solo catalogue which literally doesn’t miss (in particular his solo debut ‘The Weatherman’ and the 2018 classic ‘Weather Or Not’). Unlearning Vol. 1 is another jewel in the creative crown of Evidence as he manoeuvres his way seamlessly through boom bap, semi-minimalist, grimy and soulful hip hop. He enlists some fantastic rhyme-slingers to feature alongside him in Conway the Machine, Boldy James, Fly Anakin and others, and the production is also handled by a variety of ‘who’s who’ – namely Alchemist, Daringer, Khrysis, Mr Green and more.

It’s hard to put a finger or a label on exactly why Evidence (and this album in particular) is so damn good. The pen game is certainly one element. Ev has a refined skillset when it comes to writing, creating vivid pictures through his words – being complex yet simplistic all at once. His lyrics are more ‘sentences’ than ‘bars’ and while they’re thought provoking, there is an inherent authenticity and honesty in them. You just feel them. The laid-back, super easy going flow is also another element. Evidence is the epitome of ‘don’t raise your voice, improve your argument’. He doesn’t need to SPIT bars at you, or really ramp up his vibe / flow / delivery to make you pay attention. The way he ‘conversationalises’ his bars makes him unique, makes him compelling – and makes for an epic hip hop album.

14 tracks, 40+ minutes and not one miss. No wasted bars, no ill-fitting features or out of place production. A flawless victory which just stays on repeat. There are SO many reasons this album is near perfect, yet it’s hard to put your finger on all of them. Just put this joint on and enjoy again and again.

Bangers: All Money 1983, Better You, Moving On Up, Sharks Smell Blood, Taylor Made Suit

Score: 10 / 10. I can’t fault this album. Even after 8 or 9 spins, I am still as invested an interested as I was when I first played it. It’s an album that you just put on and let it ride and it’s formed the soundtrack to my day since it’s release. It’s not a joint I can bump in the gym or when I need that ‘fire in the belly’, but I can get that elsewhere (RJ Payne, Vinnie Paz for example), but this is easily one of the most incredible releases of 2021.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!

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