New York-born and based emcee Homeboy Sandman is arguably one of hip-hop’s most prolific, inventive and uncompromisingly challenging artists, and unsurprisingly over the course of this site’s history, the New York-based emcee has been a JOVM mainstay. Now, since signing with renowned indie hip-hop label Stones Throw Records in 2011, the Boy Sand has recorded and released 3 full-length albums and 6 EPs — with the most recent release being a collaboration with Aesop Rock titled Lice. And with each effort, Homeboy Sandman along with a growing list of collaborators have managed to push the boundaries of what contemporary hip-hop should be, sound like and concern itself with thematically; in fact, few contemporary emcees can tackle sociopolitical issues with such a creative and witty use of wordplay and incredibly complex rhyme schemes.
Simultaneously, Homeboy Sandman has developed a reputation as being a highly sought-after social and cultural critic who has an thought-provoking pieces published in Gawker, Huffington Post and The Guardian among others. And as the New York-based emcee explains in press notes ,”I don’t want to write something to be a conversation piece. It has to help change something.”
Kindness for Weakness, the Boy Sand’s forthcoming full-length effort is slated for a May 6, 2016 release through Stones Throw Records, and the album’s title is informed by the New York-based emcee’s personal saying that “mistaking kindness for a weakness is a weakness I need to have more kindness for.” Reportedly, the album thematically focuses on Homeboy Sandman’s discomfort within his own comfort zone and addresses his personal insecurities, rapper stereotypes and morality among others. “Talking Bleep,” Kindness For Weaknesses‘ first single was produced by Edan and pairs a warm, glitchy and psychedelic-leaning soul sample with some scratching with Homeboy Sandman’s ridiculous flow. Throughout the song, the New York-based emcee discusses a series of ridiculous situations that have recently occurred to him including fans who desperately want to him to continue releasing the same exact songs without considering the fact that as an artist, his sole duty is to evolve and challenge himself, and in turn his fans; Huffington Post asking him to write about his thoughts about a rap beef, after he had written and then published a controversial article linking mass media and private prisons; producers who want him to guest spot for free or very little money; corny emcees who try to give him career advice; and more. It’s arguably Homeboy Sandman’s most incisive and riotously funny song while being pointedly and thoughtfully sociopolitical with playful inner and outer rhymes.
Simply put Homeboy Sandman is one of my favorite contemporary emcees and although he’s not as commercially successful as the likes of Drake, Meek Mill, Fetty Wap or Wocka Flocka Flame, that may be a boon to those who love real hip-hop with dope emcees, who actually have something significant to say, rhyming over insane productions. Real hip-op will thankfully never, ever die; it’s just more difficult to find when listeners are inundated with bullshit.
The recently released music video features Homeboy Sandman throw into an extremely cliched and very funny action movie world in which the New York-based emcee fighting against, shooting at and running from a variety of karate fighters and Matrix-like villains dressed in suits with surreal and comically large-sized snapping mouths, who physically embody fools talking nonsense to him — until (presumably) Edan comes to his rescue.