Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Billy Woods "Today, I Wrote Nothing" (2015)

As the title may indicate, "Today I wrote nothing" deals with apathetic themes that delve into introspection and musings around the milder moments in life. Billy Woods is a New York rapper on the Alternative, Underground spectrum of the Hip Hop radar. With little info on Billy this record served as my only source of information on a rapper who sounds pretty rooted and down to earth, reflected in the lyrics and persona that avoided the demeaning cliches that glamorize harsher realities.

The record lays in a peculiar balance of unremarkable enjoyment, feeling steady, structured and familiar, yet doing little to spark excitement. The two half's of the formula work well, but the beats take reign as Billy often fades in and out of focus, dropping decent lines here and there, but in the same tame flow that lacks a kick and a punch to perk up the listener. His moderate tone and comfortable style carries the record along giving light to the beats which shine character into the record. The album flows smoothly as shorter tracks shift quickly from beat to beat that have a subtle experimental edge that feels safe, yet on paper would seem a little unorthodox at times. The song "Rpms" standing out as a strong example of an enjoyable oddity, a powerful, moody, thematic sample accompanied by samples of motor violence and Billy's mediocre rap.

The chemistry of this record is unusual, almost is if something almost spectacular is happening on a muted scale. The beats show bright sparks, intelligent ideas against the grain, but are held back by their moodier, artsy nature. The short songs and continual transitioning save them from feeling stale, an interesting point to ponder on, but without Billy delivering anything hitting the record drifts by in a warm haze of mediocrity.

Favorite Songs: Lost Blocks, Flatlands, Woodhull, Carpetbagger, Bicycles, Rpms
Rating: 5/10

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