Written By: Fletcher Bonin
If you’re one of the people that thinks the current rap scene is devolving with every newly released trap mixtape, I think you could really get into Homeboy Sandman. He’s one of those rappers that actually puts significant thought into his lyrics. Each phrase carries import, he spits eloquently, and each rhyme is chosen deliberately. He’s not necessarily trying to make flows that sound good, but rather lyrical schemes that will make you think about something in a different way. Though he hails from Queens in New York City, his style isn’t in the typical east coast style. In fact, his style is pretty tough to compare to any mainstream act. The closest acts I could think to compare him to are the likes of Atmosphere, Raury, and maybe Aesop Rock.
Homeboy Sandman released a full studio album last year entitled Kindness for Weakness. The album is a thoughtful, underground production that compromises none of the artist’s integrity in the name of the mainstream. His flows are quirky and offbeat and his beats are simple and looping, typically composed of rudimentary percussion loops. His voice sounds kind of like when your friend freestyles when he’s drunk. To be clear, don’t expect the sing-rapping bass slappers of Drake or Wale on this album. But in many ways it is what Homeboy Sandman lacks that makes his music so appealing. With simple instrumentals and a laconic, eloquently pronounced lyrical flow, Homeboy Sandman transfixes you with the truth and severity of his words.
The tracks on Kindness for Weakness center upon maturing, meaning, and morality. Homeboy Sandman tackles each of these monumental themes with aplomb, dissecting them and classifying them neatly with his exacting lyrics. My favorite track of the album, originally released as a single, is the album’s final song (of fourteen total) entitled ‘Speak Truth’ featuring Aesop Rock. He raps, “speak truth when it’s not easy, speak truth when it’s gonna hurt, speak truth when they gonna look at you strange, speak truth any way, speak truth all the same speak truth as your favorite pass time.” The repetition gives the song it’s contemplative, hammering tone, a cornerstone of the album itself. Other tracks I enjoyed were ‘Keep it Real’, ‘Gumshoe’, ‘Sly Fox’ and ‘Seam by Seam’. Homeboy Sandman deserves some recognition, his lyrics are too complex and his flow too original to be ignored. For a truly different kind of rap, check out Kindness for Weakness today.