Rap has always been a staple in the South and Evolve’s latest project is one for Texas to be proud of. His I Am A Lyricist/Swollen Pens LP only includes a few guests including Mickey Factz, Asphate, Spit Gemz, Mad One and Pawz One sprinkled in the 12 tracks. Not that the album needs additional appearances. Evolve can easily ride the singles solo.
What I Am A Lyricist/Swollen Pens also offers is an excellent selection of nostalgic beats filled with soulful samples, scratches and head-nod worthy drums. Bronx emcee KRS-One puts on his producer hat for the aptly titled “Show & Prove,” where Evolve can be heard gliding back and forth between English and Spanish rhymes. DJ Centrifik is responsible for the cuts added to the KRS-One produced track and a majority of the album like the opening track “XXIV.” In a time where emcees rely heavily on star-studded features and big-name producers for promotional push, Evolve centers himself on what really matters: the music.