Insight "Evolve" (2004)
I remember hearing some unremarkable tracks by Insight around 2000, and had him tagged as a lessor Kweli. The man put in work between then and 2004, because "Evolve" was one of the year's better tracks. "Evolve" could coast on the strength of its instrumental: shit is chill jazz and hum-along head-nodder at the same time. The main flute loop is buoyant enough (or is that an oboe?) - moving from slightly dark to sunshiney-as-hell, but when the chopped-up vocal loop drops, gotta snap that neck.
Lyrically, the theme stays tight around the process of personal evolution, but Insight moves from broader metaphors to chronicles of his own experiences. As much as I appreciate Insight's aspirations lyrically (Kweli-esque substance over style/delivery), some of his tracks fall short; everything here comes together perfectly.
See, I evolve - into a man from a baby
Pretty little girl with dolls - evolves into a grown lady
who leaves when she feels like the situation is shady
Notice, she can spot a player who's picture-painting like crazy
She evolved now because she sees it all like the Matrix
In calculus, Insight stepped to Advanced from Basic
I evolved, yes y'all and stand five feet tall
I use speech to bust rhymes through a concrete wall
B-side "Daily Routine" is also fresh, with another strong jazzy beat, albeit slightly darker. It's appropriate enough as Insight runs through stories of some grimier daily routines before offering his own perspective on finding your own path.
Includes "Evolve" (radio and instrumental), "Daily Routine" (DJ Real mix and instrumental), "Inventors(Black)", and the interlude "What Life Would be Like Without..."