Billy Woods and Elucid’s latest PARAFFIN is a dense, dark, blech-ing slice of 2018 Black paranoia. Well, it would be paranoia if all the things creeping around, lurking in the shadows, seemingly out to get the duo and their brethren were not REAL. So, paranoia this actually is not. It is art as truth. Poetry as rap. Hip hop clad in muted colors, an ugly beautiful statement of the fucked up world we are living in 2018. This is definitely the best hip hop record I’ve heard this year. Excellent samples waft throughout the proceedings, at times taking me back to teenage basement days early era Wu Tang Clan style.
From “Rehearse With Ornette”: “50 people at a rap show and one’s an informant,” doesn’t sound that crazy when this kind of shit is going on in our city. And does anyone remember this bullshit, that also went down in this town? Wasn’t that long ago. There is plenty of anger here in these recordings but it never overpowers the poetry of the proceedings. This is powerful, meaningful modern fucking rap music. From “Bob Barker”: “You can’t say fuck the police out loud and in public.” No, you certainly cannot, no matter what kind of fucked up they get into. And yes, being poor is practically criminal in this day and age, all over, and in every city. And that is fucked up, and getting more fucked up.
“Ecomog” is my maximum jam off of this great record by this New York duo. The song’s first sample is ringing in my head for days and days. I’m a sucker for a Rhodes. Apply some tricky flow over the whole thing. A sick beat. I’m yours. A complete change of direction closes it out. I’ve felt this whole record deeply, and I hope that many others get the chance to as well. Production handled by Messiah Musik, ELUCID, Ohbliv, August Fanon, Willie Green and Kenny Segal. Released by Backwoodz Studioz/ Purple Tape Pedigree.