On June 1, Queens' Homeboy Sandman will release his third album in The Good Sun. Although its the DXnext alum's third collected works to support, it's his first with a fully-distributed label in High Water/Fat Beats. Within the 14 track collection, the fresher New York face and sound opted to work with three celebrated production veterans in DJ Spinna, Ski Beatz and The Beatnuts' Psycho Les.
Earlier this week, Homeboy Sandman was asked what the support means, coming from men who have created gems for the likes of Mos Def, Jay-Z and J-Live. "It's mind-blowing, even talkin' about it now, it still hasn't worn off. I grew up listening to these cats," said an enthusiastic HBS. "I'm from Elmhurst, Queens where The Beatnuts are heroes, are legends. Ski Beatz and [DJ] Spinna, I was listening to [Jay-Z's] In My Lifetime and I love the first Camp Lo's [Uptown Saturday Night, which Ski Beatz produced, throughout my youth]."
Like any life-long Rap fan, Homeboy Sandman had rich intentions in working with this personnel. "The reason why it's so important to work with these [producers] is that a lot of stuff in Hip Hop right now is such a quick turnover. It's whoever is hot now is not hot later. It's that way with emcees - not as much with producers, but it's that way with everything. Everybody is droppin' a mixtape, and then the mixtape is done - there's a lot of disposable stuff going on. With me, one of the things that I really value in the opportunity to work with these brothers you bring up, is that these are guys that are still at the height of sound that's being created."
A product of a new class of mic rockers in the five burroughs, Homeboy Sandman also asserted that he's extremely supportive in helping newer acts get some placements as well. "As much as it is important for me to say I worked with these dudes, just 'cause they're legends, it's also important to me 'cause I'm tryin' to put together the best possible album in the world. That's why there's such a blend. You talk about these guys, but I also have guys that nobody's ever heard of. Nobody's ever heard of M Slago [who produced 'Table Cloth']." This is part of HBS's daily operation, "I listen to 1,000 beats, all the time - I listen to anybody who tells me they've got beats. Ninety-nine-percent might be butt, but I'll hear that one percent that might be amazing. So, for me, I don't like the whole quick turnover of everything. These guys that you bring up, they've been making beats for 10 years, 15 years, and they haven't fallen off a drop - and they're still makin' some of the best sounds that you're gonna hear, so I love takin' part of keepin' them in the public ear. Then there's also the added bonus of gettin' to rock with my heroes."
Being close enough to these acts to record in the same studio with them, HBS also says that valuable advice is transferred in between the music. Particularly, Homeboy admired his High Water label-mate DJ Spinna's words of wisdom, "Also, just talkin' to these guys. These guys have worked with so many people. Spinna has worked with everybody. People don't even know that the dude's got ties to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Eminem, everybody. Talkin' to a brother like that, and doin' a record with him - and I've done a couple records with Spinna, ["Being Haved"] is the third, which is on [The Good Sun]. He brings such a wealth of knowledge, when it comes to recording, when it comes to the writing, when it comes to sound, he offers so [much]. Me, as an emcee, I'm always open to opinions, but I want it to sound the way I want it to sound. You'll find, with somebody like DJ Spinna, his opinions are makin' a lot more sense than most peoples'. These guys have been around the block so many times, with such elite performers, such elite talents, there's so much to learn from them, and I'm always seekin' to get better. These guys are great conduits for that."
The Good Sun by Homeboy Sandman is in stores June 1 on High Water/Fat Beats.