billy woods & Kenny Segal: “FaceTime” [ft. Samuel T. Herring]

billy woods’ great gift as a rapper is his ability to manipulate scale. He’s the kind of writer who can make a trip to the corner store feel like an epic poem or locate one person’s solitary paranoia at an otherwise jumping concert. “FaceTime,” the lead single from, Maps, his upcoming album with Los Angeles producer Kenny Segal, examines life as a touring musician from angles big and small. Trips to cities like Bratislava are interrupted by alerts for Zoom couples therapy sessions; woods notices the pandemonium surrounding a Playboi Carti concert (“Afterparty packed like Parliament/Ass cheeks and cheekbones, lips slightly parted”) while “smokin’ alone in a cardigan” and thinking about loved ones thousands of miles away. Segal’s steady drums, horns, and chimes give the song a dreamlike quality that matches woods’ stark writing, which comes from a fly on the wall who’s seen and been through way too much.