Exclaim!'s Staff Picks:​ billy woods Keeps His Hot Streak Going with the Kenny Segal-Assisted 'Maps'

BY Alex HudsonPublished May 15, 2023

billy woods released two of the best rap albums I heard last year (the spring's Aethiopes and the fall's Church), and he keeps his absolutely red-hot streak going with Maps, a tour diary that's co-credited to producer Kenny Segal. woods tells stories of the road from his unique perspective, packing his unexpected turns of phrase with delectable culinary descriptions: as he raps on the jazzy "Blue Smoke," "The pork belly was brined, braised, then deep fried / Fresh mint, Thai basil, pickled watermelon rind / Julienned scallions and other alliums, gave the pepper mill one grind."

Danny Brown gives an unhinged verse for the ages on "Year Zero," while Segal evokes the transient experience of life on the road with collage-like beats that shift from satisfying boom bap to arty abstractions and back again (gorgeously sampling Aphex Twin on "Babylon by Bus"). It's a rare opportunity to ride shotgun with one of the hottest rappers of the moment.

(Fat Possum)

Latest Coverage