Wrap Up And Watch Out: Homeboy Sandman
Homeboy Sandman is New York City's very own lyrical mastermind. Sandman gained a large following on the underground scene and is now a certified lyrical monster, known for his endless supply of wordplay. The Queens MC avoids cliché or close comparison to other artists with his highly acclaimed albums ‘The Good Sun’ and ‘Chimera’. The Wrap Up's Kristian Galea talks to the rapper about the meaning of success, the Illuminati and how his new album will change the face of the hip-hop scene…
TWU: Where did the name 'Homeboy Sandman' originate from?
Homeboy Sandman: Homeboy Sandman signifies growth as a person. A man begins as a boy, in his home. Sand symbolises time and a journey; walking barefoot in the sand. Through this time and this journey, a boy becomes a man... And you have Homeboy Sandman!
TWU: You're from Queens in New York, which is home to some of hip-hop’s greatest artists. Who did you grow up listening to?
Homeboy Sandman: LL Cool J! It is shameful that cats don't regularly mention LL with the greats. Does anybody know a hip-hop song better than ‘It Gets No Rougher’ from the ‘Walking With A Panther’ album? Anyone? Throw ‘Jingling Baby’ on at a party right now, one of them terrible parties where all they play is horrible music for poor souls who've been brainwashed into believing that terrible music is actually humankind's preferred music of choice for dancing, and you'll reverse the whole curse right there.
TWU: Before your music career you were a teacher, can you tell us about that?
Homeboy Sandman: I taught mathematics, but one time I shut down my class for two weeks so that we could read and discuss excerpts from Alex Haley's 'Roots’. I never saw the movie, but I'm convinced that it could not have been anywhere near as infuriating as the book. In fact, I imagine the movie was made just to keep people from reading the book… but then, people aren't infuriated very easily these days, if at all. I did love teaching and I love young people. I tried to teach them to question all the garbage they're subjected to every day and to think for themselves.
TWU: You are described as an 'indie’ artist - but how would you describe your sound?
Homeboy Sandman: I would describe my sound as dope, fresh, captivating, ill, amazing, breathtaking, mind-boggling, unique, authentic, creative, and new. Oh, and slammin’.
TWU: You’re part of the new Stones Throw generation. How is being where you are now different to say, 5 years ago?
Homeboy Sandman: I got a whole ill brigade and posse of warriors riding into battle with me who have a pristine track record of moving with integrity and vision to bring truly gifted musicians to the masses… so the numbers continue to grow.
TWU: Your ‘Chimera’ EP was released recently. Can you tell us a bit about the 6 track EP?
Homeboy Sandman: It's the unachievable dream, achieved. It has a dreamy production and flows. It is lava lamp soundtrack-ish. It is your boy Sand like you've never heard him before, as usual.
TWU: On the ‘Chimera’ EP you've got a track labelled 'Illuminati'. What do you think about rap and this so-called secret society?
Homeboy Sandman: The people that control the media use hip-hop as a tool to manipulate people. This is OBVIOUS, to you, to me… to everybody. Unfortunately though, many of us don't think it's worth the time to address. Like I said, it takes a lot to infuriate people these days. Watching our culture turn into something rotten and putrid doesn't appear to put everyone off as much as it does me. By the way, watch how you use that term 'successful’. I think successful means happy; I think successful means making the world a better place. Being paid a lot of money for being a despicable human being by selling out doesn't sound very successful to me.
TWU: You have been working on your next project ‘First Of A Living Breed’ - what can you tell us about that?
Homeboy Sandman: It will change life on this planet as we know it and it's surrealistically dope!
TWU: Finally, which artists in the hip-hop game are you rating right now?
Homeboy Sandman: Hip-hop game? I'm not familiar with that. Is that a board game? It's probably one of those Xbox or Nintendo 360 games. I don't have any of those consoles so I'm not really familiar with their latest games… Shout out to all of the real artists in hip-hop. Sene, Oddisee, 2 Hungry Bros, I Am Many, Yc The Cynic, Blu, Exile, Paul White, New Rap Order, Brown Bag All Stars, Soul Khan, J57… I could go on and on, but basically I rate all the brothers and sisters creating beautiful art instead of those artists wasting time by playing games.
Words: Kristian Galea (@KrisSoAppalled)