Billy Woods & Kenny Segal - Hiding Places (CD)
Hiding Places is a collaborative album from Brooklyn-based rapper billy woods and Los Angeles beat scene veteran Kenny Segal, set for release by Backwoodz Studioz. On its face, it seems an unlikely pairing; woods—who moonlights as ½ of dissonant rap duo Armand Hammer—is a chaotic force, the warped relic of an NY indie-rap wave that never happened. Meanwhile, Segal has been in L.A. for twenty years: from paying dues with Project Blowed to pushing the culture forward with Busdriver and Milo. All the while, his soulful, dreamlike production is precariously tethered to earth by the right drums or rumbling bass. But look closer and it makes more sense. After all, Segal lent his production to a couple of songs on Paraffin, Armand Hammer’s critically acclaimed opus, and the two artists have more than a few shared collaborators: Open Mike Eagle, ELUCID, and Hemlock Ernst amongst them. Hiding Places finds both artists deep in the labyrinth. Segal’s lush soundscapes have a new edge, woods’ writing is, paradoxically, at its most direct. Hiding Places is a child’s game: funny and cruel, as brutal as a fairy tale. The album features contributions from both artists’ well of collaborators with ELUCID, Self-Jupiter, and MOTHERMARY making appearances. Kenny Segal had a busy 2018, dropping the jazzy Casual Horns, Dog with Mr. Carmack and Mike Parvizi, Kenstrumentals Vol. 3 (Dome of Doom) — a beat tape of deftly chopped samples and knocking, unquantized percussion — and then capped it off with Happy Little Trees, a moodily brilliant instrumental LP. woods kept a lower profile but still made noise as Paraffin was widely lauded as among the year’s best albums. Hiding Places is woods’ first solo project since 2017’s Known Unknowns.