It only really took an interesting album cover and a Needle Drop review of Backxwash’s new album, God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It, but the third studio album from the artist is indeed my personal gateway into her discography.
I’m honestly surprised that it’s taken me this long to discover Backxwash and her music. A transgender female hip-hop artist with a hardcore aesthetic is right up my alley, not to mention the most progressive an artist has come across in a very long time.
But I was incredibly pleased to find out that this album has bags of substance to back up its style, along with a cohesive structure, and a consistently dark and horror-inspired aesthetic.
In many ways, this album musically reminded me of the likes of Ho99o9, a band whose style made them one of my favourite bands of the 2010’s. This album indeed carries through a punk-like attitude, but the vocal delivery and pacing in this case leans further towards the likes of rap.
But despite the obviousness of its rap inspiration, God Has Nothing to Do With This Please Leave Him Out of It feels quite versatile with its different moods and rhythms for each track.
Another thing that contributes to this album having tracks that stand out from each other, and something that I think is one of the most praiseworthy aspects of the album, is indeed the production. With the likes of Black Sabbaths self-titled track being sampled on this albums opener, it absolutely excels in establishing that dark aesthetic from the very get go, and also intertwines with the albums title with the looping of Ozzy Osbourne’s iconic “Oh no, no, please god help me”.
From what I’ve gathered, the main underlying theme of this album is the idea of faith, and how one handles faith when faced with such adversity. A good example of a person going through this Backxwash herself, who opens up a lot about herself and her own insecurities as a black trans woman. One of the most glaring example of a track that puts this idea forward is “Into The Void”, where Backxwash raps about her anxieties when being out in public.
The album has a nice and compact runtime of roughly 22 mins and ten tracks, while still managing to feel like a fully fleshed-out experience. And of those ten tracks, the majority really hit the mark, either through engaging lyrics, unnerving production, or both.
But what this album ultimately did the best, is help to radicalise me even further. It stands as yet another shining example of the effects of both racism and transphobia, in an era where many of us are working to abolish both. This album wound up connecting with me quite a bit spiritually as well, and any album that succeeds in doing that is thoroughly important.
I feel that with this new album, Backxwash has the potential to blaze a brand new trail for both black and transgender music artists, and may even shape the progression of music to come.
Favourite Tracks: Spells | Black Sheep | Into the Void
Least Favourite Track: Redemption