Guaranteed to open your eyes |

Guaranteed to open your eyes

Andrew Harley
Special to the Daily Dilated Peoples features D.J. Babu, left, Evidence, center, and Iriscience. The group does its thing at 8150 tonight at 10.

With beats and rhymes like late spring heat and cool white wine, Dilated Peoples conduct cool excitement at 8150 tonight at 10.

Dilated Peoples germinated out of Los Angeles’ hip-hop scene in 1992 as Evidence and Iriscience started collaborating after meeting through freestyle sessions at the Hip Hop Shop. Evidence and Iriscience teamed up with D.J. Babu, formerly of the Beat Junkies, later in the decade.

The trio of two M.C.s and one DJreleased a series of singles before dropping their first, full-length album, “The Platform,” in 2000.

About a year later, the group had a strong second effort in “Expansion Team,” which featured tracks with D.J. Premier, ?uestlove (the Roots), Da Beatminerz, Alchemist and JuJu (the Beatnuts).

It’s been about three years, but Dilated Peoples spent a chunk of that time locked in their studio with occasional visits from guest producers. A single promoting the album called “This Way,” with vocals from Kanye West, has floated into the mainstream.

“I think we took the same approach (with this album); not changing our aesthetic so much. The biggest difference is that we’re getting older, more experienced,” said Evidence. “The rap game is changing so fast, there’s so much going on.”

Dilated Peoples’ new album, “Neighborhood Watch,” hits record stores on April 6, and, perhaps the biggest innovation present on the new album, not featured on previous works, is the group’s premeditation and focus on the overall concept – with regard to linear flow and thematic unity.

“We used to focus on making songs individually, and we’d wing it when it came to how the album was put together in the end,” said Evidence.

The group’s been performing some of the new material off “Neighborhood Watch” on their current tour.

“The reactions have been gigantic to the new album. We do a lot of songs live and that’s dope, but freestyling is dope, too; not doing songs everybody knows all the time, but giving them a treat,” said Evidence.

One of the songs the group tends to perform on tours around Colorado. is “Tryin’ to Breathe” because the air’s so thin up here, said Evidence.

Evidence, who grew up in the hip-hop mecca of 1980s Venice Beach during a golden age for beat-boxing, professed that he’s still excited about the modern hip-hop scene

“I’m into it. I try to keep one foot in the past and one in the future. I’m not a dinosaur. We tune into the radio, watch what’s going on on TV and at the clubs,” said Evidence. “We’ve been stamped as a group who knows how to get down live. It’s due to groups like Jurassic 5, D’Angelo, Rage Against The Machine and Cypress Hill. Groups that let us open up for them, and we ended up stealing some of their fans.”

Dilated Peoples make a second trip over Vail Pass since last year’s VailJam RailJam with Black Eyed Peas.

“It was a good time. We got a really good reception, and that’s why we’re coming back,” said Evidence.

The Procussions open, and the show starts today at 10 p.m. at 8150 in Vail.

Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext.610, or at

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