H*Wood does more than stay in his lane...he creates it. First Light is ahead of our time...it's about time we catch up.
More than an album that crosses over genres and blends hip-hop and a dance sound, H*Wood’s latest album First Light is gutsy and honest. The beat selection is absolutely superb. Check for Adrian X’s production on “Young Beast,” where H*Wood gets primal and carnal on the hook. There’s something to be said for rapping over formless beats and dropping Lion King references, all of which H*Wood accomplishes with ease on “Young Beast.”
For the most part the beats are definitely ahead of the hip-hop times we’re working in. The project opens up with the title track “First Light,” giving H*Wood the opportunity to explain where he’s from (Aurora, Colorado) and touch on the pain his city felt after the Aurora Theater shooting. “The Journey” details the struggles of a young MC trying to make it in the game and H*Wood is more than believable, he’s relatable.
The “W.O.R.K” remix is as poignant as ever (the album’s lead single) with Amanda Hawkins’ soaring vocals over the chorus. This is the big club record on the project that maintains H*Wood’s songwriting integrity. The lyrics get a bit cheesy on “Gone,” a track about a chick that is “outta sight.”
There are some hefty tracks on First Light with a number of songs touching down at well over five minutes. The beats are worth it and the determination in H*Wood’s voice makes all within earshot stand at attention. Club sound be damned, this project is diverse and mainstream enough to take over radio and the clubs while boom-bap/808 laden enough to keep the streets listening-www.HipHopRollCall.com