[29 March 2007]
There are two standard phrases in hip-hop that typically grab my attention because, usually (say, 90% of the time), they stand for confidence: (1) “And it goes a lil’ somethin’ like this” and (2) “And you don’t stop”. The first generally kicks off a rhyme; the second sometimes ends it. When I hear either of them, I get the feeling the rapper is convinced that the track is the bomb. Well, EV Records presents: Everything opens a 14-track collection with a sample containing the first phrase (“And it goes, and it goes, and it goes a lil’ somethin’ like this”) and, while my little theory might not be a universal truth, it applies well here. EV, the independent and hardworking record label out of Chicago, Illinois, serves a platter of fierce but jazzy tracks coupled with snappy, polished rhymes. With an abundance of skilled underground emcees, the set takes a shot at showing literally everything the label has to offer. Wielding the microphone, you’ll find Royce Da 5’9, Longshot, Profound, Diverse, Illogic, Ang13, Modill, Psalm One, Pace One, Thaione Davis, Verb T, Finale, and One Be Lo. On the beats, you get Earmint, Overflo, Copperpot, and K-Kruz. As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. While it’s always a treat to sample a variety of styles and voices, numerosity may lessen the album’s cohesiveness. Still, you’ll love standouts like “The Mic”, “Nightshift”, and “Things I Do”.