Billy Woods – Biography, Career and Discography

Billy Woods (stylized as billy woods), an American rapper, based in New York and is the founder of Backwoodz Studioz, a record label. Throughout his career, he has been associated with various groups including Armand Hammer, Super Chron Flight Brothers, and The Reavers. Beyond New York, Woods has lived in Zimbabwe, Jamaica, and Maryland. Notably, he is a member of Super Chron Flight Brothers alongside Priviledge, Armand Hammer with Elucid, and The Reavers supergroup.

Early Life

Billy Woods was born in Washington, D.C., to a mother who was an English literature professor from Jamaica, and a father who was a PhD Marxist writer actively involved in the Zimbabwe War of Liberation and later served in the Zimbabwean government. In 1980, the family relocated to Zimbabwe, but following his father’s passing, they returned to the United States in 1989. Woods briefly attended Howard University before immersing himself in New York’s hip-hop scene. He began making music in the late 1990s, with his first significant rhyme written at a laundromat in Kennebunk, Maine, in 1997.

The success of independent releases like The Cold Vein and Operation: Doomsday inspired Woods to establish the Backwoodz Studioz label.


In 2003, Billy Woods founded the record label Backwoodz Studioz and released his debut album, Camouflage, through the label that same year. Throughout the 2000s, much of his work was in collaboration with fellow rapper Priviledge as part of the group Super Chron Flight Brothers. Woods described their work as focusing on “the comedy and tragedy angle.” However, by the early 2010s, the group had disbanded, and Backwoodz Studioz struggled to turn a profit. In response, Woods decided to create another solo album, History Will Absolve Me, in 2012, intending it to be his final release before leaving the music industry. Surpassing his expectations, History Will Absolve Me revitalized Woods’ career and gained recognition as a cult classic of underground hip-hop.

Following this success, Woods released Dour Candy in 2013, entirely produced by Blockhead. In 2017, he released “Known Unknowns”, which earned a spot on Rolling Stone’s “15 Great Albums You Probably Didn’t Hear in 2017” list. In 2019, he collaborated with producer Kenny Segal on the album Hiding Places and released a solo album titled Terror Management. Collaborating once again, Woods and Moor Mother released Brass in 2020. Subsequent releases include Aethiopes and Church in 2022. On March 27, 2023, Woods announced his second collaboration with producer Kenny Segal, titled Maps, which was released on May 5, 2023. The album was preceded by two singles: “Facetime,” featuring Baltimore singer Samuel T. Herring, released on April 12, 2023, and “Soft Landing,” released on May 3, 2023.


Studio albums

Camouflage (2003)

The Chalice (2004)

Terror Firma (2005) (The Reavers)

Emergency Powers: The World Tour (2007) (Super Chron Flight Brothers)

Indonesia (2009) (Super Chron Flight Brothers)

Cape Verde (2010) (Super Chron Flight Brothers)

History Will Absolve Me (2012)

Dour Candy (2013)

Today, I Wrote Nothing (2015)

Known Unknowns (2017)

Hiding Places (2019) (with Kenny Segal)

Terror Management (2019)

Brass (2020) (with Moor Mother)[24]

Aethiopes (2022) (with Preservation)[25]

Church (2022) (with Messiah Musik)

Maps (2023) (with Kenny Segal)

Compilation albums

Cowardly Threats & Hideous Cruelty (2011)


New York Times (2006) (The Reavers)

Deleted Scenes (2009) (Super Chron Flight Brothers)


“Slums / America / Dusted” (2005) (The Reavers)

“Shadows” (2006) (The Reavers)

“Dirtweed” (2007) (Super Chron Flight Brothers)

“Facetime” (2023) (with Kenny Segal, feat. Samuel T. Herring)