Moor Mother & billy woods Release Surprise Collaborative Album BRASS
Moor Mother is Camae Ayewa, a Philadelphia-based artist whose work veers from noise to jazz to rap to experimental music without ever losing the furious strength of her voice. Thus far in 2020, Ayewa has released two collaborative albums, Who Sent You? with Irreversible Entanglements and True Opera with Mental Jewelry. Meanwhile, billy woods is a great New York rap expressionist who releases dark, incisive, powerful music, both on his own and as one half of the duo Armand Hammer. Today, with no prior warning, Moor Mother and billy woods come together to release a new collaborative album called BRASS.
This album isn’t the first time that Moor Mother and billy woods have met on record. In June, Moor Mother rapped on “Ramses II,” a staggering track from Armand Hammer’s album Shrines that also featured Earl Sweatshirt and Fielded. In July, Ayewa and woods released “Furies,” a collaborative track made for the Adult Swim Singles Series. BRASS takes “Furies” as its literal starting point; “Furies” is the first song on the album. From there, woods and Moor Mother explore a dark, broken landscape together, finding abstract ways to damn a hostile world.
BRASS is a dark and powerful avant-rap record with a whole lot of bleak feelings at its center. But it’s also a work of community. The LP features contributions from people like Mach-Hommy, Navy Blue, John Forte, Fielded, Algiers’ Franklin James Fisher, and billy woods’ Armand Hammer partner Elucid. It’s also got production from people like the Alchemist, Preservation, Navy Blue, Willie Green, Steel Tipped Dove, and Moor Mother herself. It’s some heavy shit — the kind of album that demands serious close listening.
Right now, BRASS isn’t available from any streaming services. Instead, you can only buy it directly from the Backwoodz Studioz label. It’s available in a bunch of different physical bundles, but you can also get the digital download for a perfectly reasonable $15 here. It’s worth it.