While many fine rap records will find success this year for their ability to bridge the gaps between the average listener’s experience and the perspective of the disenfranchised, Billy Woods’ History Will Absolve Me deserves success for disregarding the interest of a focus group, or Nielsen family, or the 16 to 25 demographic. His music is made purely for himself and anyone who’s worn a similar pair of shoes.
Producer A.M. Break-ups’ use of a few Duck Hunt samples at the beginning of the track is where it begins and ends in relatability for anyone not from Woods’ neighborhood. On “Duck Hunt” he’s deep in the pocket, or more literally deep in the boiler room of his apartment building, penning essays on his disinterest in rap braggadocio and letting pretty rappers know that’s it not all love (with a chilling Delonte West metaphor) just because they’re in the same game. The track brings to mind the cold world that Cannibal Ox once invited the listener to experience at large. Woods knows he’s got our ear, but as he puts it, “Had a speech prepared chock full of them SAT words/ but on second thought, fuck it, two tears in a bucket about sums it.”
History Will Absolve Me is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.