One of the best albums of 2018 is already being forgotten?

Evidence- Weather or Not (2018)

The third album by Evidence, Michael Perretta, once of Dilated Peoples, is almost a victim of its own perfect execution. Engaging from start to finish, its not just a vehicle for big singles padded out by skits and filler, but a real full-bodied album.

But are there tracks? Yes and no.

There’s one bigger single, Powder Cocaine (feat. Slug & Catero), which is great, but also almost feels out of place to the rest of the feel of the album.  Every track is good and some are excellent but they work better within the album as a whole.

This is Evidence building on his previous themes. The weather is fore-fronted more than

Michael Perretta aka Evidence

ever and serves as subject, buffer, metaphor and mood segue. Slow beats and quiet samples work with piano loops to create a steady rise and fall, quiet and crescendo. The feel of a gathering storm, the small squalls of morning rain, patches of weak sun breaking through heavy clouds at lunch, winds blowing the day back to grey and the uncertainty of knowing whether the clouds will darken and let loose or pass over and drop rain somewhere else.

Going forward through the rest of this year I think there are going to be a lot of albums that overshadow this its hard to imagine there’s going to be a hip-hop album that deserves more respect than Weather or Not.

Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation

Dr Octagon

Popped my head up from under a rock long enough to realise it wasn’t just MF Doom that released new tracks in the last month but the Doc Oc as well. While I’m still unsure on the Czarface/MF Doom collab (need to give it more time), this, Dr. Octagon’s first album in twelve years, is possibly an instant classic. Dark production and fast flows, there’s not a track thamoosebumpst goes over five minutes or outstays it’s welcome. The medical horror themes still run heavy through the lyrics, and they’re still gross, but aren’t as emphasized as in the past where I thought they overshadowed the skill of the rapping, production, or DJ’ing. There’s only a couple of very short skits, no filler tracks, and a return to Pushead artwork. Awesome.

Cocagne Sardine Fillets in Extra Olive Oil

Wacka Flocka Flame & Lil Xan: Youth versus Legacy

How long do tinned sardines last? How are tinned sardines cooked? How are sardines preserved? Did Lil Xan really mean to dismiss 2Pac? Was Wacka Flocka Flame out of line to ban Xan from Hip Hop?

These sardines are bad. But how old is the can? How long do tinned sardines last? A google search on the shelf-life of tinned sardines says after five years they begin to lose flavour and consistency. On the front of this tin there is a logo advertising the hundred-year centenary of the company in 2006. Would Cocagne have kept printing cans with this celebratory date for more than, say, five years? Does this mean potentially these fish were canned, at the latest, in 2011 but perhaps as long ago as 2006 or even earlier? And, so, could be anywhere between six to twelve years old? Is it fair to judge something without fully understanding its past?

This is the reason too it comes as no surprise that Lil Xan would diss 2Pac or, more likely, be so easy to manipulate by the media into appearing to diss or dismiss one of the Mt Rushmore figures of hip-hop. Xan was born in ’96, the year Pac died, he could easily

Wacka Flock Flame. Est. 1986

have  little or no basis for contextualization of 2Pac. Wacka Flocka Flame was born in ’86 and so only ten years old when Pac died but this is much more time to be exposed particularly because 2Pac was still charting after his death throughout the late 90’s and even into the early to mid 2000’s with posthumous releases, most notably the Loyal to the Game in 2004. Flocka was also immersed in Hip Hop from a young age and when he rises to fame it is building on the regional style of Atlanta.

Arguably Lil Xan is just the latest in a long line of posers to think they’re making a statement by dismissing 2Pac. For the last decade posers have been confusing whether they prefer west or east coast rap (or know anything about either) by talking big about how much they like Biggie over 2Pac. This is often simply because they’ve heard Biggie more at parties or clubs. They stupidly dismiss 2Pac based on select singles where the production sounds comparatively dated. This is often also informed by

Lil Xan. Est. 1996

the many attempts by people cashing in without caring if they ruin 2Pacs legacy such as the awful remix re-releases of his albums, poor quality merch, and probably the worst thing, that ridiculous hologram.

Lil Xan is young and like most young people he wants to destroy all that came before him. He probably would prefer not to have to pay homage to a rap lineage he is in many ways removed from. For better or worse there’s always going to be an old guard who reactively defend the edifices of the past. A similar outcry from the twitter peanut gallery roared loud when Lonzo Ball rated 21 Savage’s Issa over Jay Z’s 4:44 though it was clearly a valid opinion for anyone under thirty. I don’t like Lil Xan much but whether the comment was intentional or the media manipulated him as he now claims, I wish he had stuck to his guns with this especially when Wacka Flocka Flame banned him from hip-hop. If Lil Xan had owned it rather than stepping back, he could have led the charge in what surely must inevitably be a concerted break by his SoundCloud/mumble rap peers to break from traditional hip-hop.

Cocagne Sardine Fillets in extra virgin olive oil are made by Conservas Ramirez in Portugal, which claims to be the oldest cannery in the world. Their products are often priced and discussed in the context of premium sardines. I don’t see the need for DSC_0134boneless sardines as western style fish is often almost boneless or has very small bones anyway, but I liked the tin and design, and this was the only variety on sale at my local store.

Once opened, the fish and oil look promising. The oil is a nice bright colour and tastes and smells mild though there is too much of it. The fish themselves are clean tasting but don’t have much flavour or minerality. They have a good inside colour but texturally are flaky and seem like they may have been over salted and/or cooked to a tough and chewy, almost mackerel like, consistency. I don’t want to rush to condemn when I don’t know how old this can is, whether preserved fish do really degrade over time and, so, some allowances should be made but to paraphrase Lil Xan looks good, tastes boring, 2/10