Elite Interview: Evan Black
Last week i had the pleasure of speaking with Boston based emcee Evan Black who recently released his brand new album The Arrival, which featured guest appearances from Skyzoo, Emilio Rojas, Reks, Customary and King I Divine. during the interview i wanted to get know the Boston emcee and see what inspired him to get involved with hip-hop, we also touch on his opinion on the state of the game, favorite cuts on his new album, if he felt Kendrick Lamar’s infamous ‘Control’ verse was good for the game and more.
What inspired you to get involved with hip-hop?
I grew up playing music and was always a writer. I started producing hip hop and playing some shows when I lived out in Minneapolis back in like 09. From there I started recording on my own and then started to take it seriously like 2 years ago
Any Hip-hop legends you feel inspired your style?
Yeah man definitely I still keep Big L, Pac , Black Milk and Nas in my rotation. Everyone’s definition of a legend is different but those guys are legends to me and have inspired me a lot. I actually got to open for Black Milk the other day and it was one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a real long time.
What’s your opinion on the current state of hip-hop?
I think the current state is good, a lot of people saying it’s dead and whatever but I think it’s just branched out so much since the beginning. Now you can come into hip hop and if you bring what’s real, you can take it where you want. There’s so many sub genres of hip hop now and that that opens up to more artists and more types of creativity. Unfortunately the everyday persons perception of hip hop, is currently not what I consider to be a good state.
Do you feel like current generation lacks creativity?
Nah like I said if you want to be creative you definitely can be. It might not take you down the path that you want it to but the option is there. I think the type of shit you hear on the radio lacks a certain sense of creativity yeah, but there’s artists out there that are trying to break that.
How do you feel you fit into this generation of hip-hop?
I think I came in a good time you know, since people are pretty open I’ve gotten some good feedback. It’s tough sometimes like, I’m a white kid from Boston that lays down some grimey boom bap records and sometimes people look at me like what the fuck, and other times people like it cause it’s something fresh.
Do you think Kendrick’s ‘Control’ verse was good for the Game?
I think it was good for sure, someone at his level of popularity taking it back to competition within hiphop is good. People get too comfortable when there’s no competition and it I think that’s what he meant to do by that, using the outlet of a major song to take it back to the roots.
Touching on your new album ‘The Arrival’, what was your writing process during the making of it.
I write throughout the day all the time. It’s hard to say when I started really writing for it but somewhere around last December. Me and Emilio recorded the joint for my album in January and that was the first song I had completed. I write shit down in my phone and in notebooks and emails and whatever I can do at the time, I’m not the type to sit down and force myself to write. I don’t like that. So I had the rest of the tracks done, including the ones I didn’t actually put on the album by like June then I went into the studio for a 12 hour session and just recorded the entire thing.
Any favorite collaborations from the album?
Working with Skyzoo, he’s one of the realest guys I’ve met so far and the joint Go was just real fun to make. Aside from that working with my boy Customary who produced half my album, we went down to NYC for a day and shot a video for I Got This which is almost finished now.
What’s your top favorite cut from the album and why?
I’d have to say my favorite track is That Old Sound produced by King I Divine. I can remember exactly where I was when I wrote it, he emailed me the beat and I just sat down as soon as I heard it for like 20 minutes on a bench and just banged it out. The tracks just about my style and how I think a lot of my shit goes over peoples heads which is kind of what I just reiterate throughout the whole track. Plus it just fucking bangs, King I on the slaps.
What’s your top favorite hip-hop album of all time?
Ugh, I hate answering the question cause I always struggle with it but I guess I’d say The Marshall Mathers LP. That shit was just so different and clean, so well done. I don’t even know how many times I’ve listened to it.
What artists would you like to work with in the future?
I’d like to work with Black Milk, Apathy and this kid Joyner Lucas who’s on the come up right now. His content and flow is just fucking outta control.
Where can the fans reach you?