written by: drowningn00b
Last month, Hi-Lite Records rapper/singer, EVO, released his latest EP, “My Way.” Following in the footsteps of Huckleberry P and Palo Alto, EVO set out to differentiate himself from the pack with his combo of singing and rapping over hard and party beats that pepper “My Way.” EVO tries, but the end result is not realized to its full potential.
EVO goes down the dual path of the party scene and the hard streets, favoring the cushy feeling of lounge couches and women’s breasts to the concrete under his feet. The teaser single “Wow” builds up to what should be a grandiose, “look at me, I’m Rocky” moment for EVO, but he fails to deliver. The track has a nice bounce to it; it’s big but not overpowering, with chants in the chorus to add drama where EVO lacks. For his part, his rap delivery doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t have that snarl on your mouth, swag in your step feel to make me envious of him. It doesn’t help he screams “And I just wanna be a fucking millionaire, y’know what I mean?” later on in “My Way,” but all Korean rappers know the game isn’t lucrative in South Korea. Verbal Jint waxed poetic over an Audi, not a Benz, but I envied him for that on the delivery alone. EVO’s “Wow” doesn’t wow (apologies for the word play).
Where he does well is when the focus is not on him, but elsewhere. The lead single, “Go,” he plays the guy pursuing the girl at a club, only to act like a jerk when she decides to leave. If you’ve spent any time at a club or a bar, you know some guy, or seen him, act this when rejected (author note: like Jersey Shore‘s The Situation?).
It’s unexpected to see EVO put this on a track because the convention is to get the girl to … wherever by the end of the song, but EVO’s rejection happens mid-way through the track and then moves on. When brushing off her rejection, EVO eloquently spits:
Give me a break
Your face and your booty
Your ass and your pussy
Is fine, but I know it’s a fake
(I knew it!) Bitch
EVO [lyrics from “Go”]
It’s easy to say EVO’s a misogynist (because he is) and immature (because he is), but to his credit, he’s ridiculous and over the top. Where he fails to cause envy, he makes it up with language made to provoke, with much cheese and obviousness. In “Wow” he makes a reference to suicide, so it’s clear there isn’t a subject he won’t touch. Its insensitive and callous, but on “Go” and the ex-girlfriend basher “Bitch” with Okasian, EVO nails the bro attitude without apologies.
That said, when the subject is deeper than tail chasing, EVO fails utterly.
On the intense bass and drum beats of “Forever,” EVO doesn’t put in his part to turn the track out. The drones underneath the bass thump and the beats on top are something else, one of the better beat structures on “My Way.” But the guy’s rap delivery doesn’t hook me. He’s a capable singer, and his style is solid enough to get the lines out with no problem, but that isn’t enough. Hi-Lite has its share of slacker guys (B-free and, to a lesser extent, Okasian) who can spit with personality (B-Free’s “Come On”) and laid-back fire (Okasian’s bars on Palo Alto’s “Batman’s Batman”). EVO’s style is by-the-numbers, but hasn’t yet found its own color.
As a superficial rapper, EVO gets it. He can play the bro at the party with no regard a little too well, and spit it convincingly on “Go” and “Bitch”. But trying to get me to feel envious of his position in life, the lure isn’t catching. “Forever” and “Wow” don’t have the personality to do that. Maybe that comes with experience or more time in the game, but on “My Way”, EVO still has a ways to go. It’s one thing to have good lyrics, but it’s another to deliver them with impact.