I don't habitually hate on pasty suburban dudes who respect hip-hop culture enough to throw their cockeyed Ecko in the ring. But whenever a brooding homeboy from Overland Park who lists inspirations ranging from Bizzy Bone and Charles Dutton (bah?) to Celine Dion and Ace of Base releases an album, I raise an eyebrow. If "commercial and acting classes" and "model and runway training" make up the majority of his professional training, I stifle a laugh. But when an OP p-i-m-p delivers Wonder Bread rhymes and lay-you-down-by-the-fire vocals over shoplifted beats, I can't hold it in any longer.
Nate. Buddy. Put your hands in the air and step away from the microphone.
Granted, the dude is trying. And his voice isn't bad. But his thoroughly uninspired delivery and self-indulgent persona sound like Jamie Kennedy's character from Malibu's Most Wanted stepped right out of the 99-cent rack at Blockbuster with the sole purpose of causing me a big fucking migraine.
Evans supposedly wrote, produced and performed every track on this record. Which means he has nobody else to blame for the album's mediocrity. Nate Evans is better than a lot of hip-hop-R&B dreck that washes ashore. But it takes a lot of people to fuck those records up. This guy is flying solo.
Whenever an album's best moments come because they've been copped from popular tunes -- Busta Rhyme's "I Know What You Want" (on ... uh ... "I Know What You Want") and Ciara's "One Two Step" (on "Get Down") -- you know that you're not in Kansas anymore. Actually, check that. That is precisely when you know that you are, in fact, still in Kansas.
Nate Evans is a comedian. Only he doesn't realize that people aren't really laughing with him. But the album's peak of hilarity comes with an interview that aired -- where else -- on KMXV 93.3, in which an on-air talent gushes to Evans, "That is very talented ... it's just got that sound that you hear on radio stations."
Sigh. The sad thing is, it's probably true. But when Mix 93 starts spinning your shit, Nate, at least do the rest of your brethren the courtesy of changing your name.