Like mentor and fellow Toronto native Drake, Roy Wood$ pursues a moody and atmospheric fusion of R&B and rap and frequently comes across as a sullen hedonist, though his approach is less pop-oriented.
Within the span of one year, the singer, songwriter, and occasional rapper, born Denzel Spencer in Brampton, Ontario, signed to Drake's Warner-supported OVO Sound, premiered on the boutique label's radio show, and released his debut EP. Issued when Spencer was 20 years old, that six-track set registered at number 27 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart, boosted by the Drake-assisted single "Drama." Waking at Dawn, Wood$' first full-length mixtape, followed in July 2016, synchronized with a U.S. tour beside Drake, Future, and labelmates dvsn. The album debuted at number 30 in Canada and at number 11 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. An EP titled Nocturnal was out by the end of the year. In November 2017, Wood$ appeared on PnB Rock's "Low Key" around the same time PnB was featured on Wood$' own "Balance." The latter was among the tracks that led to the December release of Wood$' official debut LP, Say Less. The set broke into the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 and featured additional guests Jessie Ware, dvsn, and PartyNextDoor. ~ Andy Kellman