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Baker's Dozen

Origin Story: Billy Woods' Favourite Albums
Zachary Lipez , May 24th, 2023 08:25

As he releases acclaimed new album Maps alongside Kenny Segal, underground hip hop mainstay Billy Woods takes tQ through the thirteen records that have defined his life, from Goodie Mob to Ghostface Killah


Sizzla – Black Woman & Child

This record definitely reminds me of D.C. and being between a bunch of African and Caribbean immigrants, first generation immigrants, like me to a certain extent, though I was born here. People being really into non-rap dance music. I was already into roots reggae like Bob Marley and stuff, but those people played a part in me getting more into other types of dancehall and finding out about newer artists. This particular album I associate with maybe 1997 to 98, when I was close with this group of Rastafari.

These cats, they were into high end weed, which was hard to get then, and I had a plug, so we all just kind of coalesced a little bit around that. They were heavy into Rasta shit and Sizzla was a big artist always playing around. If anyone was coming into town and playing they would go through and give them some flight ass weed and money and get them to record dub plates. And so just being around those dudes, I got more into it and that album really stuck with me. I think ‘Babylon A Use Dem Brain’ was the song that really hooked me. When Sizzzla has the right beat and when he has the right rhythm, his voice is just so powerful and has so much conviction, I can kind of ignore all the… well, Rastafarianism is not for me. But I still dig his music. That record is really one that makes me think of a very particular time in my life. As far as it being influential to me? Yeah, it wasn't. But I definitely messed with it. That's the one that I listen to the most. I never really got into dancehall too tough until I really started messing with those dudes.