To say Landon Wordswell
knows his way around a microphone and a lyric sheet is an understatement. His most recent album Prayer and Whiskey
, which he’s touring in support of, is a great testament to his abilities.
A true successor to the underground hip-hop scene of the past, the smooth and ear-grabbing MF Doom-style production plays perfectly off Wordswell’s urgent lyrics. Just listen to bars like, “I’ll never pledge allegiance to some thieves, who won’t be satisfied until they see us on our knees,” and try not think of the ’90s, when rap was more punk than punk. His fifth-gear flow on tracks like “Eat” is only matched by his emotional delivery of lyrics like, “I missed my son’s first steps trying to give you this music.”
Overall, it’s an intimate album. The record consistently references his ex-girlfriend and the places their breakup took him. “I was praying a lot and got really spiritual because I was drinking a lot,” says Wordswell. “I kept looking for answers in an empty bottle.”
The album can be a heavy trip at times but always feels like a trip worth taking. According to Wordswell, it also shows growth in his music.
“I didn’t feel like myself … I felt different so I made something different,” he says.
Wordwell is on tour with Boise soul-pop singer-songwriter Darian Reneé. Local emcees Damn Skippy and Bad Mojo will also perform as duo DBL DRGN, for the first time, while Luis Skye will helm the ones and twos. An open-mic-style freestyle performance will close the show.
Wordswell struck up a friendship with Damn Skippy during his stop in Charleston a few months back with Gift of Gab, and Wordswell hopes they’ll record material together soon.