By Zach Rowley
Artist: Dilated Peoples (Evidence, Rakaa Iriscience, DJ Babu)
Album: Directors of Photography
Release date: August 12, 2014
Dilated Peoples return after an eight year break to deliver their new album, “Directors of Photography.” Dilated Peoples formed the rap group in the early ’90s and have remained relevant in the underground hip-hop community ever since. The group consists of two emcees, Rakaa and Evidence, who is also production lead alongside DJ Babu. Each member brings something to the table to keep the group fresh without outshining one another.
The album is filled with heavy lyrics and grimy instrumentals that bring the feel of classic hip hop back to the game. The beats on this album are nothing less than impressive, with DJ Premier, 9th Wonder and Alchemist adding their golden touch to a few tracks.
Scratching and sample-heavy beats bring back the old school hip-hop vibe, while still maintaining a current originality. A good example is the track “Figure it Out.” Evidence and Rakaa packed this album with classic lyrics and, while some tend to over do the conscious message, these two have a great balance of wordplay and metaphors. Evidence shows the hunger they have by rapping, “They say home is where you hang your hat / Well I ain’t hanging up that, there’s no time to relax / Only time to react / It’s Dilated for life, I’d like to welcome us back…”
Many artists struggle to stay relevant over time, and while each one of them stayed active in hip hop over the years, it’s harder to keep the fire going after such a long break. Compared to their previous albums, Dilated has proven that they have gotten better with time.