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Aethiopes is the tenth studio album by the prolific Brooklyn rapper billy woods. It sees him collaborating with producer Preservation, both of whom previously teamed up on woods' Terror Management and also on Preservation’s own Eastern Medicine, Western Illness. The album was released on April 8, 2022, through backwoodz studioz.

In an interview with FADER, billy stated that this is his largest and most broad album conceptually. This is reflected in the album’s title “aethiopes,” a word with an uncertain definition. Historically, the word referred to dark-skinned people living in certain areas (specifically the south of the Sahara but also within the upper Nile). However, modern usage typically alludes to the country of Ethiopia.

When asked about the concept of the album during an interview with FADER, Woods said:

"Conceptually, it was one of the complex ideas I’ve ever tried to tackle on an album. It’s a lot of ideas, big and small, of a significant depth. I guess, to me, there’s a lot going on about Blackness as an idea, Africa as an idea, Africa as a reality. The diaspora, looking at the land and vice versa. And obviously, from the cover to the title itself, the idea of the other. Thinking about the real Ethiopia, which comes up more than once, both sonically and in words. Half of my family is Jamaican, and I have Rastas in my family who feel like Haile Selassie was God, the Messiah. And half of my family is from Africa, although nowhere near Ethiopia. But again, you’re talking about the other, and ideas of Blackness, which don’t necessarily have to line up with the reality of it. It’s an idea — like, Europeans decided what Blackness was."

"Aethiopes" is billy woods’ first album since 2019’s double feature of Hiding Places and Terror Management. The project is fully produced by Preservation (Dr Yen Lo, Yasiin Bey), who delivered a suite of tracks on Terror Management, including the riveting single “Blood Thinner”. The two collaborated again on Preservation’s 2020 LP Eastern Medicine, Western Illness, which featured a memorable billy woods appearance on the song “Lemon Rinds”, as well as the B-side “Snow Globe”.

- via Billy Woods' BandCamp .

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