|We are living in a great time for independent hip-hop and the underground is teeming with creativity and talent, so it’s no small thing to say that we believe Kenny Segal and billy woods are two of the most unique and essential artists working in the genre right now. When you run a record label, every album you drop is the culmination of so much work, anticipation, and creative energy that its release into the world is both immensely gratifying and fraught. That rings especially true now, as we begin to unveil Maps, the new album from billy woods and Kenny Segal.
Today we drop the first single, "FaceTime" featuring Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands—and some beautiful artwork by m. musgrove. We also have pre-orders up, including for the deluxe version of the album, which will not be available anywhere else. And in case you missed it, all this comes on the heels of last week’s Backwoodz compilation High Bias; featuring Breezly Brewin, Armand Hammer, ShrapKnel, AKAI SOLO, Cavalier, Steel Tipped Dove, Fatboi Sharif, DJ Haram, Kenny Segal, Sebb Bash, and more.
“I started writing this song at a festival in Tucson in 2023. I was staying in this old classic Southwestern hotel in the center of town, and the festival was actually taking place inside and directly outside the hotel. I had been on the road for a long while at that point, and the song had been brewing inside me, but I got it written during the two days I was there. Then I finished it and recorded it at Kenny's when I got to LA. Both of us know Sam and once I finished it I just knew his voice would be perfect. I also knew that with as much as he has been on the road over the years, Sam would be able to bring some personal experience to the collaboration”
- billy wood
billy woods by B.A. Stubbs
“I was posted up in Toronto when Woods hit me about working on "Facetime". It was late summer 2022 and most days I was stuck in my hotel room wondering what was happening with my life. I had been cast in this tv show and I had never acted before--so I had to learn how to do this whole new thing, in a whole new city. The waiting around in hotels I understood, but doing months of it all in one place was another beast. So I was there, on a new journey, with the same tools: torn bags filled with emptied out food containers, exploding ashtray cans by the window, a busted suitcase, and a pen, pad and mic setup on the desk in the corner.
When Woods hit me I didn't know it was coming but I had an inkling. Prior to that, Woods and Kenny had both hit me individually to say that they were working on a new record and that at some point they were gonna come to me for a hook. This was all good news to me at the time, but it was months before and far from my mind.
So when I got the track and Woods explained to me what it was about, I dug in and sent them a demo sketch a couple hours later. And that was that. That's the chorus, that's the track.
I believe in first, second and third drafts but this one worked out the first time. I asked for notes and sent some more sketches, tried some extra harmonies and things but we kept the take. They loved the first sketch. They knew I could relate.
All of that being on the road and living remotely, feeling alienated, alone, missing people back home, but also feeling at home living that way. I understood it deeply.
I think from my own perspective, in the chorus, I was even able to add to these ideas. "I can't take you with me but I'll be on your phone", speaks to the disassociation that it sometimes takes me to get through a long stretch. Writing that reminded me of all the people I've asked to be strong for me while I'm away, so that I can be strong. And maybe just writing those words helped me realize how messed up that was to expect that from someone. It's why the song hit me. It's why they hit me. That song is my life and I was living in it.
Of course we're talking about two of my favorite musicians so I couldn't really go wrong. The track was already perfect before I walked in the room”
- Samuel T. Herring
billy woods & Kenny Segal
COMING OUT ON MAY 5, 2023
PRE-ORDERS NOW LIVE
Maps is the new album from NYC rapper billy woods and LA producer Kenny Segal, their first full collaboration since 2019’s Hiding Places. Four years after that landmark record, the duo have reunited with a vengeance. Maps is a story of the road, or roads, taken and untaken; of living the dream and dreaming of another life. It is an album about trying to find your way home, after making your home wherever you lay your head.
|“Kenny and I made more songs together before Hiding Places than we did after,” woods says. “I think we only collaborated once over the last four years and although we didn’t talk about it, I think we wanted to let that energy build again. Neither of us wanted to make Hiding Places 2. We needed to go on other journeys, artistic and otherwise, to come back and do something fresh.”
|Produced in full by Kenny Segal, Maps features Danny Brown, ELUCID (Armand Hammer), Shabaka Hutchins, Sam Herring (Future Islands), Quelle Chris, Aesop Rock, Benjamin Booker, and ShrapKnel. Segal moves effortlessly through styles but everything is underpinned with deep basslines and mean drums laid down like railroad tracks. Weaving between poignant memoirs, deadpan humor, and incandescent bursts of surrealism, Maps cements both artists’ place amongst the best of their time.
1. Kenwood Speakers
2. Soft Landing
3. Soundcheck featuring Quelle Chris
4. Rapper Weed
5. Blue Smoke
6. Bad Dreams Are Only Dreams
7. Babylon by Bus featuring ShrapKnel
8. Year Zero featuring Danny Brown
10. Baby Steps featuring ELUCID & Benjamin Booker
11. The Layover
12. FaceTime featuring Sam Herring
15. Waiting Around featuring Aesop Rock
16. NYC Tapwater
17. As The Crow Flies featuring ELUCID
billy woods & Kenny Segal
MAPS MERCH PRE-ORDERS
PRE-ORDERS START SHIPPING MAY 5, 2023*
Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride! Ashes57 did a great job on the Maps artwork, especially the main vinyl version which includes 140g translucent orange crush vinyl and an insert styled after an airline safety card,, as woods & Segal want you to be prepared for what could come your way. Purchase from Backwoodz includes digital download.
PRE-ORDER: MAPS MERCH
PRE-ORDER/SAVE: MAPS DIGITAL / STREAMING
DELUXE 2xLP VINYL
We like to think of this as the Maps director’s cut; it’s not necessarily better than the theatrical version, but it is different, and it arguably more clearly articulates the artists’ vision for the project. There are two more songs, the song order is different, and Serengeti makes a guest appearance that substantively changes a third song, all the way down to it’s title. This a 2XLP in a gatefold jacket with an insert, and a 40 page lyric book all gorgeously illustrated by m. musgrove, including Backwoodz's first-ever vinyl etching on Side D. The deluxe version of Maps is exclusive to Backwoodz Studioz direct orders and will not be available anywhere else. Purchase from Backwoodz includes digital download delivered on street date.
CD w/ LYRIC BOOKLET
CD includes a 36 page lyric booklet with artwork my m. musgrove. Purchase of CD from Backwoodz includes digital download delivered on street date.
CASSETTE w/ 8-PANEL J-CARD
The Maps cassette is a clever flip of the airline motif of Maps by Ashes57; it includes an orange shell with white imprint and a beautiful 8-panel fold-out J-card. Purchase of cassette from Backwoodz includes digital download delivered on street date.
*EVERYTHING WILL BE SHIPPING AS CLOSE TO THE MAY 5 RELEASE DATE AS POSSIBLE, BUT PLEASE BEAR WITH US AS WE DO OUR BEST TO FULFILL ALL ORDER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.*
Backwoodz Artist Mixtape
Cassette Available For Pre-Order, Now Available For Download
lies somewhere between a label sampler and woods’ curated mixtape, featuring label mainstays alongside new friends, collaborators and signees. Ten tracks from Armand Hammer, Cavalier, ShrapKnel, DJ Haram, AKAI SOLO, August Fanon, Steel Tipped Dove, Sebb Bash, Fatboi Sharif, Mattie, P.U.D.G.E.Oh and a new track from Breezly Brewin, just to make sure this cake has all the icing you could ask for.
We have printed up a limited run of High Bias
cassettes that will be given to artists to take on the road, with a smaller amount being sold directly. Pre-orders are live now
and will start shipping within 6-8 weeks. This is a limited run that will NOT be re-upped. As far as digital goes, High Bias
is not available on streaming, so grab it on Bandcamp
or cop it direct from us.
1. Which Way is Up - Armand Hammer (prod. by DJ Haram)
2. Carousel - Fatboi Sharif (prod. by Steel Tipped Dove)
3. Slick Watts - ShrapKnel ft. AKAI SOLO (prod. by Kenny Segal)
4. Stocking Caps - ELUCID (prod. by Sebb Bash)
5. Meta - Cavalier (prod. by P.U.D.G.E)
6. Mescalito Remix - ShrapKnel ft. billy woods (prod. by DJ Haram)
7. FOP - Breezly Brewin of The Juggaknots (prod. by Sebb Bash)
8. Tar Baby - Armand Hammer ft. Mattie (prod. by August Fanon)
9. The Crucible - ShrapKnel (prod. by Steel Tipped Dove)
10. Read Ur Bible - billy woods (prod. by Messiah Musik)
HIGH BIAS cassette is a pre-order and will ship in approximately 6-8 weeks
PRE-ORDER: HIGH BIAS CASSETE
DOWNLOAD 🔊 HIGH BIAS on BANDCAMP
BILLY WOODS AETHIOPES TOUR
HEADS TO TEXAS
AND NOW HERE IS SOMETHING FOR AETHIOPES IN TEXAS
Before KenWood takes flight on the Maps tour, woods is taking the 2022 album of the year on a final victory lap with four dates in Texas and a festival appearance in Norman, Oklahoma. He will be carrying a very limited amount of Aethiopes vinyl, until it runs out, as well as copies of his new book A Is for Anarchist.
GET TICKETS HERE
BILLY WOODS & KENNY SEGAL TOUR MAPS
Four years after Hiding Places these two have a new album on the way, and excitingly, are going to tour together for the very first time. Let’s be real; If you don’t buy a ticket now, don’t be surprised if you can’t buy one later...
10 May - Los Angeles, CA, USA - Resident
12 May - Los Angeles, CA, USA - Resident
13 May - San Francisco, CA, USA - The Independent
15 May - Seattle, WA, USA - The Crocodile
16 May - Portland, OR, USA - Polaris Hall
31 May - Boston, MA, USA - Crystal Ballroom
01 June - Brooklyn, NY, USA - Baby’s All Right
02 June - Washington, DC, USA - DC9
06 June - Marina di Ravenna, Italy - Beaches Brew Festival*
09 June - Katowice, Poland - Tauron Festival*
10 June - Helsinki, Finland - Sideways Festival*
12 June - London, UK - Village Underground
15 June - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Bitterzoet
28 June - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival*
* = billy woods only