Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site since its inception, you’d likely be familiar with New York-born and based emcee and JOVM mainstay artist, Homeboy Sandman. And 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 — including a collaboration with Aesop Rock titled Lice. And with each effort, Homeboy Sandman along with a growing list of collaborators have fearlessly pushed 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 as creative and as witty use of wordplay and with complex rhyme schemes.
Kindness for Weakness, Homeboy Sandman’s latest album was released last week 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. Now, you may recall that I recently wrote about the Edan produced first single “Talking Bleep” a single that paired a warm, glitchy and psychedelic-leaning soul sample with some scratching with Homeboy Sandman’s ridiculous flow as he rhymes about a variety of absurd and insulting situations that have recently happened to him. And the song may well be Homeboy Sandman’s most incisive and riotously funny song while being pointedly and thoughtfully sociopolitical with playful inner and outer rhymes. That was promptly followed by an appearance at Stones Throw Records’ Dungeon for a live session of album single “God,” a single that has the New York-based emcee rhyming about the nature of a benevolent, merciful and understanding God, who bestows simple yet profound before your eyes — and in some way, it strikes me as being similar to the “love supreme” that inspired John Coltane’s A Love Supreme, over a down-tempo yet fluttering flute sample, bolstered by boom-bap drums.
Kindness for Weakness’ latest single “Nonbelievers” which pairs the Boy Sand’s ridiculously playful rhyme schemes with a hip-hop golden age-leaning production consisting of a looped, slinky guitar line and a propulsive rhythm section of stuttering drum programming and a rolling and swaying bass line. But just underneath the surface is an equally playful sensuality as the New York emcee talks about being in love with what may be one of the more interesting women in the entire world.
The recently released music video for “Nonbelievers” plays with some of themes and motifs of Pam Grier’s most beloved Blaxploitation films while subtly suggesting that the entire time the New York-based emcee was having an extremely vivid dream — or maybe not.