The New York rapper and producer Elucid is a restless soul who always seems to be looking for new ways to push his voice in different directions. Along with billy woods, Elucid is half of the jagged, expressionist duo Armand Hammer, whose new album Shrines is among the best of 2020. On his own, Elucid has recently put out experimental projects like Every Egg I Cracked Today Was Double Yoked and SEERSHIP! Today, he announces that he’s part of a new group with producer the Lasso and that they’ve got a new album coming out next month.
The Lasso is Andy Catlin, a Grand Rapids-born and Detroit-based beatmaker who makes his own instrumental records and who’s collaborated with Lando Chill. Together, Elucid and the Lasso are known as Small Bills — a truly great name for a rap project. Their debut album Don’t Play It Straight will feature contributions from people like billy woods, Moor Mother, and Nosaj. The album’s opener is called “Safehouse,” and it’s got Elucid rapping with gruff, focused energy over a hard funk beat with some very cool Afrobeat-sounding horn-bursts. The Armand Hammer collaborator Fielded sings backing vocals. Check it out below.
In a press release, Elucid says:
These songs were less a voice of the daily interrogation and unlearning of toxic american ideals i was born into and more concentrated on how i wanted to only give interest, energy and attention to relationships and institutions that serve my full self. This honesty allowed old ideas and structures to wither and die. The process of letting go is a difficult one and repeatedly showed itself throughout the record. Discomfort and uncertainty were the dominant feelings for me in this place. In turn, letting go allowed for the necessity of space to transform and develop new ways of being.
Don’t Play It Straight is out 10/30 on Mello Music Group. Also, speaking of Fielded, she’s got an album of her own called Demisexual Lovelace coming out next month. On her own, Fielded doesn’t make rap music. Instead, she does a sort of jazzy and insular take on indie-leaning bedroom-pop. Check out her song “Valleys & Peaks” below.
Demisexual Lovelace is out 10/9 on billy woods’ Backwoodz Studioz label.