Michael Perretta, better known as Evidence (born December 10, 1976 in Los Angeles, California), is an American hip hop artist, producer, and member of the rap group Dilated Peoples. Before becoming a rapper and producer, Evidence was a graffiti artist.
Evidence's affinity for hip-hop and the culture began in the early 1980s, with his parents' divorce and subsequent move from the affluent city of Santa Monica to neighboring Venice Beach. By the early 1990s, he became a graffiti artist painting hip hop inspired hieroglyphics under the name PW in a group named MSK. Soon after he moved next door to QD3, son of producer Quincy Jones, Evidence started rapping. QD3, an accomplished West Coast producer, became one of Evidence's major influences in his pursuit to create music.
Shortly after meeting QD3, Evidence teamed with the likeminded Rakaa to form the group Dilated Peoples and after the success of their 1997 single “Third Degree” b/w “Confidence” and “Global Dynamics” on ABB Records – and the addition of DJ Babu to the fold a year later – the group quickly became a fixture on the hip hop tour circuit.
Four albums, and outside production work-including tracks for the Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Swollen Members, Defari, Planet Asia and coproduction on Kanye West's debut album “College Dropout” which earned him a Grammy, Evidence became a sought out hip hop producer. Through his work as one-third of Dilated Peoples, Evidence became a champion of hip-hop culture.