“supernatural, off-beat flows.”
Big Wobbly monsters aside, the connecting thread between alot of the music that I like is that the artists are down to earth people who grind hard to get where they are in the game. In the past two years, I can not point to anyone in New York City who has been in GRUSTLIN harder than the beast from Queens, renegade poet gone MC Homeboy Sandman.
I spent my first couple years back in New York hanging out in the spoken word and slam circuit and had already established a residency at LouderMondays @ Bar 13 when this taaall mo’fo in a Mets jacket started comin on the scene. Crazy latino word-playologist just starts popping up at all my haunts. Acentos Bronx Poetry, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry cafe. All of a sudden, here was this freakishly tall dude invading every open mic in the city, like a hungry pink elephant in the room waiting to devour your attention. Just as quick as he came tho, Homeboy Sandman vamped from the poetry scene in NYC and went MIA.
I don’t know the exact how or why of the metamorphosis that took place but when he came out of whatever bunker he was in Boy Sand came back to lay the smack down at open mics around the city with what he called the Verbal Soul Clap.
I’ve spent a few studio sessions in the past year exploring future bass vibes and giving him a lil background and what lies beyond the boo- bap. In just a year and a half, I’ve watched this guy who had never written a song in his life find his voice, drop out of an Ivy League school to follow a dream, take NYC by storm and drop 3 full length albums to critical acclaim. He’s been featured in the Source Mag’s Unsigned Hype, XXL, Fader Magazine, Blender and named Best Hip Hop artist 2008 by New York Press.
Get To know Homeboy Sand.
You might have seen him rocking at any of the 100+ shows he was performed at last year, plus like 5 open mics a week lurching like the ultimate billboard for the Homeboy Sandman name brand. Homie don’t play when it comes to gettin the name out. Custom-made hoodies and t-shirts for days (Boy Betta Know finally has some serious comp!) His guerrilla marketing campaign on the F and the 7 train lines ran for a year straight and the answer was yes RUN-DMC would indeed approve, even if the MTA hates him.
Show me a emerging artist that gets to share a stage with veterens like Rakim and Black Thought or underground icons like Talib Kweli their first or second year out the gate. I remember debating with both Shadetek and Rupture about the off-kilter flows Sandman employees which both said were off time but what my ears where listening to was something different. I heard an MC who was creating his own space in time juxtaposing narratives with didactic rhyme structures. After spending significant time with him via phone and at the studio I have gotten to know him as an MC that stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries in not just crowd rockin but in principle.
Sand takes the title for THE LEAST SALTY DUDE I’ve ever sessioned with.
Geko: I just don’t get it fam. They’re blogging about stuff like Andy Milonakis !!???
Sand: Who’s that
Geko: This whack ass dude looks like Pat from Saturday Night Live that spits wanksta lyrics online and all of a sudden he’s syndicated, chillin at red carpet shows and taking pictures with Paris wannabees. Why would anyone give that scrub shine?
Sand: Nah Gex, I hope the brother’s having a good time out there.
Its been really impressive to hear how he always finds nice things to say about artists that anyone else would just clown. He’s genuine about it. He looks for the good in people and holds himself to high standard. A rare trait for someone in the bizness of bragadocio but it works well for him. Sandman doesn’t have time to talk shit, he’s got places to be and rhymes to write
His flow has always been super unleaded but at one of our sessions I showed him some youtube vids of Kano spittin, Wiley vs Ghetto and other UK MC’s… shortly thereafter I got this one back.
Jump up grime bidness… a ting called Gggrrraa!! pon the Funeral Service Riddim and off the album Actual Factual Pterodactyl
The album comes in hard with Food Glorious Food and also features some great story telling on Mambo Tail Tale and the just unexpected weird shit like Opium for the experimental heads. I’ve included the acapella for your remixing pleasure. (Those nice green mixes you guys sent in via soundcloud were crazy by the way!! Sweaty Ken, SS and Jibberish getting the Large Up on that round)
The Funeral Service Riddim that Gggrraa!! was recorded on was a sound clash burial dub built by my partner 3rd Rayl for my Funkworthy FM project and was used to voice several artists for sound clash dubs just in case one ah yuh jump on waan test. Boy sand got wind of it at a show and got really excited by it. The dub ended up getting included on the LP and now its yours. Some of the nuttiest bars from any emerging MC stateside or anywhere else.
He’s recently sessioned with the Beatnutz, J Period and Stereotyp. There’s a lot more in store. Make sure you cop Sand’s free mixtape THERE IS NO SPOON and swing by his website Homeboysandman.com or visit him at myspace.com/Homeboysandman and say wadup.