Terror Management – [Billy Woods]

Billy Woods isn’t the easiest artist to write about. There’s so much that can be said about the range of ideas packed into his verses. Based solely on his bars, there’s no doubt that the man is a genius, and he puts this on display once more with his second album in 2019, Terror Management. It follows the Kenny Segal-produced Hiding Places from April, and this one proves his consistency and versatility more than ever. 

Terror Management is all over the place, which serves as a nice contrast to the more cohesive and linear Hiding Places. There are genuinely pretty moments standing right next to startling and dark ones on Terror Management, like the track “Birdsong”, which consists of two wildly different parts. Messiah Musik, Preservation, and Blockhead each produced multiple tracks here, Elucid handles the beat on “Cornstarch”, and Uncommon Nasa contributes a noisy, thumping beat on “Gas Leak” that Billy absolutely bodies. 

Lyrically, Billy seems to be in a rut similar to the one he found himself in on Hiding Places, as he touches on a range of topics, some political, and some personal. He continues to prove what makes him such a great lyricist, as this project features loads of quotables, along with some of his boldest one liners yet.

The features on here are worth noting, with Mach-Hommy and Pink Siifu dropping verses on tracks four and five, respectively, and Fielded adding vocals to a few tracks. There are also features from Akai Solo, Lauren Kelly Benson, and The Funs.

As I listen to a track like “Great Fires”, it almost seems wrong to put my thoughts on this album into writing before I’ve fully digested everything that Billy has to offer here. I’m going to leave it at that though, at least for now, so that I can cover this close to the release. Regardless, one thing for sure is that Billy has done it once again, and this is worth a listen with a doubt. Check out Terror Management for yourself on Bandcamp here and Spotify down below.

Early Favorites: Trivial Pursuit, Long Grass, Western Education is Forbidden, That Was Then, Myth