If you’ve been frequenting this site since its inception six years ago, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstay artist, the New York-born and based emcee Homeboy Sandman. Arguably, the New York-based emcee is one of contemporary hip-hop’s most prolific, inventive and uncompromisingly challenging artists. 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.
Simultaneously, the New York-based emcee has developed a reputation for being a social and cultural critic, who has written a number of thought-provoking and controversial pieces that have appeared 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 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.
Recently Homeboy Sandman stopped by Stones Throw Records’ Dungeon for a live session of album single “God” complete with a fly-dressing studio skunk, who’s chilling out right by the emcee’s feet. As for the single the Boy Sand rhymes about the nature of a benevolent and understanding God, who’s merciful, benevolent and omnipresent — 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.