billy woods is a damn good rapper and a member of the duo armand hammer w/ elucid. he specializes in gruesome, intricate, hyper-literate art rap with a delivery that doesn't pay much attention to the drums. he does have a pocket (rhythm isn't the focus, but it's not fully rhythmless) and the a fun thing about listening to woods is piecing together which parts of the instrumental he's locking onto.
his 2019 album hiding places w/ kenny segal is widely considered to be a career highlight. segal is one of the best producers on the planet and woods does an excellent job accenting his contours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83F4JpVu61k
armand hammer is also a critical favorite. their 2018 album paraffin earned rapturous acclaim, tho it wasn't really my favorite when it dropped. i still don't really love it but there are some serious standouts. i tend to prefer the hammer in a slightly less abrasive mode.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-kgUrFfAhw
like on haram! which was home to one of my favorite songs of last yearhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctmTme9cG74
billy's released two albums this year, the first called aethiopes which is certainly an achievement, one that will probably appeal to fans of paraffin.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7GsIoyu1ZE
he has a second 2022 album out called church that i haven't heard in full yet
― comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Thursday, 27 October 2022 22:57 (seven months ago) link
Aethiopes is amazing
― sloop johnnin' skater (geoffreyess), Thursday, 27 October 2022 23:20 (seven months ago) link
i feel blessed that between billy woods/elucid/armand hammer, ka, earl sweatshirt, roc marciano, freddie gibbs, and mach-hommy there are reliably 5-10 rap albums for sad middle-aged dudes and i never have to find out about any new rap music
― na (NA), Thursday, 27 October 2022 23:58 (seven months ago) link
joking aside billy woods is probably my favorite of all those dudes, his lyrics are so sharp and angry and sad. a great one that wasn’t mentioned yet was “brass,” his collaboration with moor mother
― na (NA), Thursday, 27 October 2022 23:59 (seven months ago) link
“falling out the sky” is incredible, I haven’t checked out billy woods solo tho
― lets hear some blues on those synths (brimstead), Friday, 28 October 2022 00:03 (seven months ago) link
church is good, def more on the hiding places side of things than the aethiopes side. the final track "magdelene" is a fantastic armand hammer cut
― comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Monday, 31 October 2022 14:50 (seven months ago) link
one of the best parts of the billy woods experience is mostly missing from church, that thing where the beat builds near-unbearable tension and billy's voices rises in intensity without dropping his flat affect and he sounds like the horseman of death
― comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Monday, 31 October 2022 14:56 (seven months ago) link
Liked Church well enough but now listening to aethiopes and finding it pretty electrifying, can see why it got such plaudits, and can also see what vc means by his ability to latch onto different aspects of these (excellent and varied) beats
― imago, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 15:05 (seven months ago) link
who's billy woods??
j/k he rules
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 2 November 2022 15:12 (seven months ago) link
wau @ Remorseless
― imago, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 15:29 (seven months ago) link
feel like you'd really like paraffin
― comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Thursday, 3 November 2022 22:30 (six months ago) link
Noted ty! Will listen tomorrow
― imago, Monday, 7 November 2022 16:28 (six months ago) link
He packs those words in
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 8 December 2022 03:25 (five months ago) link
just continues to elevate
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 6 May 2023 18:18 (three weeks ago) link
Just grabbed the wax of this! Had no idea he had a new one with Kenny coming out until this week.
― octobeard, Saturday, 6 May 2023 18:30 (three weeks ago) link
I can’t afford his wax lol
― brimstead, Saturday, 6 May 2023 18:53 (three weeks ago) link
same. wish i'd got on this one earlier.
― stirmonster, Saturday, 6 May 2023 20:29 (three weeks ago) link
I don't know why he doesn't press more. His albums are all gong for hundreds on discogs nowadays and even Maps is limited to 3k... wtf its found money dude
― octobeard, Monday, 8 May 2023 18:02 (three weeks ago) link
His albums are all gong for hundreds on discogs nowadays
this is pretty common practice in underground hip hop now, the whole sneaker culture rare thing, i guess maybe nipsey hussle and roc marciano started it?
i'd bet they "sell out" but keep some around to parse out on ebay and discogs over time for big bucks
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 8 May 2023 18:25 (three weeks ago) link
yeah i think it was nipsey who started it. mach-hommy also sold some of his albums at super-premium prices (i think he sold one album for $444.44)
― ludicrously capacious bag (voodoo chili), Monday, 8 May 2023 18:40 (three weeks ago) link
oh yeah mach too when he was more on that mystery man shit
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 8 May 2023 18:45 (three weeks ago) link
roc usually holds his new albums off streaming for a couple weeks and sells downloads for like $30
Anybody seen Woods & Segal live? I see they’re doing some US and Europe gigs .
― curmudgeon, Monday, 8 May 2023 19:29 (three weeks ago) link
I’m fine with this practice tbh, get paid
― brimstead, Monday, 8 May 2023 19:43 (three weeks ago) link
Anybody seen Woods & Segal live? I see they’re doing some US and Europe gigs
He's hitting up SF this weekend. I'm totally hitting this show up
― octobeard, Monday, 8 May 2023 21:26 (three weeks ago) link
I asked him about this when i interviewed him last month, he said he's not purposefully trying to limit production, but that given the label almost collapsed entirely a decade ago he's careful about not pressing too much, etc. said that he's trying to expand production, that the amount of deluxe editions of Maps was equal to the entire print run of Hiding Places, so he's trying to match the pace of his notoriety. I dunno, I still reckon he could repress stuff and not make it so collector scummy, but he didn't seem to be scamming the fans but genuinely leery of overinvesting in a print-run and losing out financially on it. The guy has been at this a long time, and for at least the first decade it was a slog with no reward.
― dicbo=v2-ubswizzb&hrt (stevie), Monday, 8 May 2023 21:42 (three weeks ago) link
Anyway I wish he'd repress his old records at a price I could afford and even the copy of Maps I preordered was more than I'd usually pay for a single LP but it is easily the best record I've heard this year and I want to support what he does.
As someone running a micro label, the line between "wow, that sold out already?" and "fuck, I'm gonna be sitting on these forever" can be shockingly thin...and hard to predict. It's better to err on the side of caution.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 8 May 2023 21:52 (three weeks ago) link
i believe that
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 8 May 2023 22:30 (three weeks ago) link
xp That's a fantastic answer and understandable. Also appreciate you asking that directly to him during an interview! I suppose his notoriety has only started to truly ascend the last few years. I might have overestimated his stature and sales when he dropped Known Unknowns.
― octobeard, Monday, 8 May 2023 22:32 (three weeks ago) link
I mean tbh I was more asking on behalf of me the record collector than me the journalist, but I did think it was interesting that his records are so hard to find (I was 3% asking in the hope he'd be like "You haven't got a copy of Aethiopes? I think I may have a spare one somewhere here...", though it was a phoner so that wouldn't have been much help). But it was good for the story because he started to discuss how, post Cape Verde and the crash that almost destroyed the label and ended his career, one of the changes he made was to ditch distributors and sell directly to the audience. So I think in his head that's lodged as the thing he did that helped keep his head above water, that led to his current fame. On some level I don't really want to judge any independent record label what they do to keep the lights on in the streaming/mp3 era, and I do think it's worth noting that, of that late 90s/early 00s NY hip-hop underground moment, Backwoodz is one of the few labels I can think of that's still going and indeed thriving. Rawkus obviously died quickly, Fondle Em and Subverse were short-lived, even Def Jux crashed eventually - I remember El-P telling me that ended in a pretty tough way, even though it had been a flourishing label only a short time before. The game changed big-time around 2010 - you can understand why billy's trying to play a smart, long game.
― dicbo=v2-ubswizzb&hrt (stevie), Tuesday, 9 May 2023 08:22 (three weeks ago) link
finally got around to this. unsurprisingly great. probably his most accessible project yet? lots of incredible moments, a few couplets that floored me, including: "gazpacho on the veranda, trust me I know it's hot in the fields/jimmy wopo draped over his steering wheel." sheesh.
the one part that i didn't love was danny brown's verse, love the guy but felt like he was on a different wavelength.
― ludicrously capacious bag (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 16 May 2023 14:20 (two weeks ago) link
oh jeez i didn't catch the jimmy wopo line :(
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 16 May 2023 14:54 (two weeks ago) link
Definitely feels like his most accessible yet. I actually LOVED the Danny brown verse, and he has a spectacular turn on the new Kassa Overall LP as well.
― dicbo=v2-ubswizzb&hrt (stevie), Tuesday, 16 May 2023 18:05 (two weeks ago) link
upcoming dc gig in little 150 or so venue sold out quick
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 03:25 (one week ago) link
Yeah I agree that Maps might be his most accessible yet. This guy becoming my favourite rapper of all time. I havent even delved into his early stuff.
― Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:54 (one week ago) link
it never occurred to me until listening to this album but touring by yourself sounds like hell
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 22:43 (one week ago) link
Yep, many Maps lyrics really do convey the slowness of downtime and wishing to be home with loved ones aspect of touring solo well.
But I like how combines a reference to an old historical battle in Viet Nam with his food references--
“Baby Steps” Dien Bien Phu, my opps pass each other coming and leavingMy phở steamingOxtail and lemongrass, steak still bleedingCocktails and cake tiers, it's always wedding season
― curmudgeon, Monday, 29 May 2023 14:46 (four days ago) link
such a foodie record
― serving aunt (stevie), Tuesday, 30 May 2023 07:36 (three days ago) link
Finally got around to this record and it's great of course. Since the production is a big part of it, I'd suggest people check out these R.A.P. Ferreira (fka milo) records that Kenny Segal also produced all of, in a similar mode:
― Random Restaurateur (Jordan), Tuesday, 30 May 2023 18:03 (three days ago) link
Yeah during his SF set, he shared an anecdote about flying out of LAX, how security wanted to look at his weed (was traveling with a few grams of flowers), and a bunch of security with weapons approached him, but ultimately didn't do anything and he made his flight. Joked how it was very close to being a Kenny solo show.
R.A.P. Ferreira (fka milo)
Whoa!! was just thinking about this dude - I loved Toothpaste Suburb and So the Flies Don't Come. Didn't realize Kenny wrote the beats of the latter!
― octobeard, Tuesday, 30 May 2023 18:22 (three days ago) link
Also didn't know he was still active. Def have some catching up to do, so thanks, Jordan!
― octobeard, Tuesday, 30 May 2023 18:23 (three days ago) link