Homeboy Sandman - The Good Sun

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The progressive marriage between beats and rhymes reaches well beyond modern convention, cementing the most important measure of any album: replay value. There is nothing overtly mainstream here.

"Fresh." 

Ironically, one of the earliest and most overused modifiers in the Hip Hop lexicon is rarely exhibited in modern Rap projects.  Throughout the underground and the mainstream, originality is scarce.

Stakes is high in a slumping music sales environment. A staggering number of rappers and record labels -- both indie and industry -- are more focused on tapping into strategic markets than tapping into the artist. YouTube hits are valued over ubiquity. Creativity is frequently kicked to the curb in hopes the next status quo offering will somehow snag market share. The result: a plethora of one-song-sensations, heard-it-all-before-LPs, and a stagnant frequency of freshness.

Queens emcee/DXnext alum Homeboy Sandman is acutely aware of the current creative climate, using his third full length project (and official label debut), The Good Sun, to drastically detour from convention.  

Rollicking, relentless tracks such as the 2 Hungry Bros produced “The Carpenter” and “The Essence”, and the M. Slago laced “Table Cloth” (featuring Fresh Daily) highlight the University of Pennsylvania graduate's infectious, beat embedded rapid fire flow and penchant for dropping dimes like Hugh Hefner. Over Psycho Les’ (“Low Co”) sinister bassline and syncopated snare, Boy Sand uses his off kilter style to kick “You can find me in the who’s who of who’s huge on YouTube. / My tunes are for the Tutsis and Hutus, / the Crips and Pirus / who can’t hide from high risk at high noon / and good sisters whose dissed, dismissin’ fools whistlin’ from stoops like wild wolves howl at full moons / How rude” -- an impressive, ear numbing barrage of alliteration that becomes the standard as the album progresses. From rhymes to flow, Homeboy Sandman pays uber attention to every syllable spit. He effortlessly shifts his voice and delivery into the beat so that it acts as an additional instrument within the track without ever actually singing, a difficult feat for average emcees.  

Lead single “Not Pop” -- a rugged, bounce heavy juggernaut produced by Core Rhythm that quickly causes convulsions -- exemplifies this supreme level of focus: “And every line I wrote / from the top of the album to the bottom of liner notes / every word of Ebonics, word is bond is a solemn oath / Stronger than solid oak.”  

While the cypher rhymes are potent enough to make The Good Sun a worthy listen, Homeboy Sandman’s conceptual cuts remove any perception of a one trick pony. “Mean Mug”, produced by Ben Grimm, is a jollily sublime refutation of faux thuggery, enlisting a Slim Shady-esque zaniness and a slowed, didactic rhyme scheme to ironically exclaim “But I know the tide will change, / faces muscles will become strained / mean mugs will become played / Played out.” The DJ Spinna-produced “Being Haved” adds a splice of personal, delving directly into the environment that bred the artist, a first for a full length Sandman project. Ski Beatz’ dancing flutes and emphatic snare provide the backdrop for “Yeah, But I Can Rhyme Though” -- Boy Sand’s reminder that, as long as a rapper can rhyme, nothing else matters.  

“Sand, you’re bugging not getting on Twitter / Think of all the fans that’d love to monitor / Your each and every move. Maybe you should consider / The web traffic you lose for tryna to have dinner / Without an interruption every second. I doubt / You’ll mind the extra attention when your record is out / Don’t you figure you’re reluctance to travel the regular route could leave you left out? / Nah, cause I can rhyme though.”         
 
“Angels With Dirty Faces” finds Sandman assuming the perspective of a homeless man, addressing the stigma those more fortunate affix on the lowest class, kicking “I’m just tryna catch a ride, please spare a swipe / You ain’t gotta act like / I’m some type of parasite / Caught up in the paradigm / Lost paradise / Silent as a pantomime / every day of life” over J57’s anthemic soundscape -- a much darker, more visceral “Mr. Wendal,” reflective of the country’s current economic condition.

The Good Sun’s shining glory is undoubtedly the Thievin‘ Stephen-laced “Calm Tornado.” Homeboy pulls out all tools in his extensive utility belt, alternating from slow flow to off kilter to rapid fire deliveries. He ingeniously hones in on its alarming horns while riding the historic break beat (“Substitution”) in a damn-near brand-new fashion, crafting a multi layered masterpiece that’s both lyrically and audibly engaging. Bravo.


Although loaded with sonic dopeness, The Good Sun is not without fault. “Strange Planet’s” impeccable, KD Beatz, production and Earthly juxtaposition is severely downgraded by its downright annoying hook. “Things They Carry” is the album’s most overtly aggressive track and lone posse cut (featuring John Robinson and Daniel Joseph). Although Homeboy Sandman stretches into fairer territory on “Listen,” his first earnest foray into relationship-rap, Kentron The Mastadon’s sped up soul sampling feels like a weak retread of last decade’s most popular production trend. The arrangement is completely unoriginal, crafted much better many times previously by many different producers, resulting in The Good Sun’s only consistently skippable track.   

From mic to plug, The Good Sun is a sleek offering loaded with relentless, genre-pushing musicality, otherworldly rhyme schemes and contextual relevance. It’s the type of album where the sum of the whole is greater than each individual part; a collection of songs so solid and so well placed that, together, they lift the album into rarified air. Somehow -- considering the use of 11 different producers -- it feels cohesive throughout while maintaining a refreshing amount of lyrical and sonic diversity. Homeboy Sandman doesn’t reinvent the wheel per se, but he certainly puts his unique spin on it. The progressive marriage between beats and rhymes reaches well beyond modern convention, cementing the most important measure of any album: replay value. There is nothing overtly mainstream here. This is not Pop. “These are not your typical plain old Average Joe verses.”   

This is Joe Versus The Volcano.

Fresh indeed.

56 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Finally heard this joint. It's been a *minute* since I've heard an ENTIRE RAP ALBUM Ive enjoyed.. One correction...calm tornado is skullsnaps "new day" break not substitution...an easy mistake to make though, hah. Peace

  • Hiphophead01810

    Dope as hell, only 1 skippable song on the entire album.

  • Oh-Say-What?

    DOPE! New favorite MC. Homeboy is straight filthy. Peace and props from Buenos Aires. One.

  • Frank Deluxe

    Homeboy Sandman is raising the bar for everyone

  • Parrot

    Homeboy. Just keeps getting better and better. Already my favorite rapper, I like him more than GZA, Vast Aire, and all my previous favorites.

  • dsalkfjkjsdioje

    This guy is fantastic, and he continues his success by releasing another great album. While I sadly doubt he'll ever get the recognition he deserves, it definetely doesn't hinder his ability, as this guy seems like he was BORN to rap.

  • Not exactly a backpacker

    I really have nothing to add that hasn't been said. This guy is fantastic, and he continues his success by releasing another great album. While I sadly doubt he will ever get the recognition he deserves, it definitely doesn't hinder his ability, as this guy seems like he was born to rap...

  • Brrrprint is the worst album name in the history of ever.

    I really have nothing to add that hasn't been said. This guy is fantastic, and he continues his success by releasing another great album. While I sadly doubt he will ever get the recognition he deserves, it DEFINITELY doesn't hinder his ability, as this guy seems like he was born to rap.

  • RICHIE COLON

    WUSSUP W/THE F'n,â–¡â–¡&'ISH LOOKS......AHHH,1L

  • RICHIE COLON

    WUSSUP W/THE F'n,â–¡â–¡&'ISH LOOKS......AHHH,1L

  • RICHIE COLON

    @DEEP&ALL&ANY,“TRUE SCHOOL”89TEC9 HEDS”,PEACE,PROPS&PROSPERITY.HAD TO LET THAT HALF-A-XANAX KICKIN'(NOT THAT NEED,BUT COMING(PAUSE)THRU THE PLASMA JOINT,&SHOVING GUCCI MANE&HIS LOOTn'CHAINS UP,PARTICURLY(it's cool to have difference in opinion,a respectful diference.There's no bigger coward than one100's,or1000's of miles away talking shit w/a mouse in his hand....@JACK KERORAP,I'M LOVIN THE REFERENCE(&MONIKER)IN HONOR OF ONE OF MY FAV AUTHORS,&ALONGW/WILLIAMS.BURROUGHS,&THERESTOFTHE“ORIGINAL”BEAT POETS”,PROPS.@D.T.IS THAT FORMER STRESS MUSIC EDITOR&GOOD PEOPLES,DT.IF SO,I'M CHILLIN' W/SELECTA IN STUDIO HE'S DOIN'CUTS4ME.I WAS JUST LISTENING TO OUR BOBBITO INTERVIEW,WE DID ON WRCT.IRONY,PAZ&RESPECT.@DUB_ES,I AGREE W/YOUR ROC MARCE ASSESMENT&TRULY YRZ'S REPLY.BLACKMILK'S UP-COMING LP,IS WERE ANTE'S ARE-UP'D.PROP TO THE(2)OF YOU&THE FEW SELECT HEDS THAT(LET'S JUST SAY“REAL RECOGNIZES REAL”)NOW,&I MEAN THIS TO BEA“GOODLK.TO BOTH OF YOU,THIS IS A HIGHWATER IS MUSIC RELEASE&THE HOMIE SUCIO SMASH HAD THE MOST FLAVORLICIOUS,LMTD.2BL VINYL PRESSED,ONE CLEAR,ONE THE SAME SEA BLUE.GET YOUR COPY NOW,THE FEW$$$$YOU SPEND NOW,WILL PROVE PRICELESS. NOW,I MUST ADRESS HATE.WEIGHT101&BRRR,IS GUCCI MANE LACIN' U W/ANY LOOT OR IS IT FLIP'D.IF YOUR LIGHT BILL NEEDS PAID,GO TRY'N HOLLER@GUCCI MANE FOR EVEN A C-NOTE.GREAT REVIEW,ONLY THING LEFT-OUT THATLIKEJUSTICE,KRS,ETC,HS,WAS HOMELESS,&PULLED HIMSELF UP,IF THAT DEFINE'S NERD.THEN THE2OF YOU ARE“THE COOLEST”.NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I READ THE AMMOUNT OF“FOOLIO”CLOWNS,W/NO CONCEPT OF LIFE/LET ALONE HIPHOP.YOU'D DIE QK.WERE I'M FROM“IN THE EAST”,&I'M NOT SPEAKING ONACOAST,BUT,ENY.I DON'T USUALY LET MF'Rs GET UNDER MY ARAB/PR SKIN YOU F'N RACIST PUNK,LOOK ME UP IF YOU EVER STEP FOOT ON MY SIDE,YOU LOSE.ALSO THAT BROKE SHIT CARD YOURPLAYIN' IS WACK.ONLY WAY THAT FT.LONG HOTDOGSNAPENTERED YOUR MIND IS CAUSE U DID IT FOR DELF DUNNY,FUNNY STYLE MF'R. @NYMATT,PROPS ON THE LIVE SHOW COMMENT.IF THESE FEW DETRACTORS/PROBABLY TRAILER TRASHERS,YOUR F'N W/THE MASTERS,I GOT FACTORS/TA TURN YOUR WHIP'D,DIP/A PORN ACTRESS....ANYWAYNYMATT,YEAH IF ANYONE AFTER WITNESSING A HS/AOK COLLECTIVELIVESHOW& HS,ROCK,ROCK-ON'n,&DOIN'“THE CLAP SONG”IT'D BE A RAP.·····PAZ, PALANTE SIEMPRE PALANTE

  • KeenanCunnin

    I listened to the album all-the-way-through for the first time today, listening very closely to his words. I must say, dude has a shit to dissect, no doubt. I am still blown away by "Angels with Dirty Faces." At first, it was the general rhyme scheme over an automatically anthem-worthy beat, but then i listened to exactly what he was saying and I almost shed a tear... "so many open hands answered with 'no can do'/it's got so outta hand lendin' a hand's taboo." That line sticks with me.

  • jn

    Amazing artist and person, had the opportunity to watch him perform live. Dude knows how to get a crowd moving.

  • MrHipHop

    HOMEBOY SANDMAN IS THAT NIGGA!!!!!!!

  • Weight101

    are you people crazy ??? this guy is fuckin terrible. the worst nerd rap ive ever heard in my life just disgusting

    • a-gENERAL

      ur fuckin crazy B. u obviously don't know hip hop.

    • Deknowz

      Weight 101, It's cool that you don't like it, I'm sure there's some Soulja boy on this site around here just for you. I use to hate multi-syllable words myself to be honest, but after my 1st birthday I've grown very fond of them I must say. Did you do what I use to do? Curl up in a ball on the floor and cover your ears? It's all good though, I even went and got the link for you. Anything to avoid that pesky "redding wif da werdz" stuff, so go enjoy yourself and let us rock out to our "Nerd rap". :o) ----->> http://souljaboytellem-iga.ning.com/

    • G BANG

      Weight101, you're obviously too ignorant to comprehend an artist with the slightest vocabulary. Sandman uses actual literary devices in his raps and has content. Go back to listening to your rims, guns and drugs bullshit. When he blows, you'll realize the talent. Get a fuckin clue.

  • D.T.

    The album is super dope - the main reason dude can't explain what it sounds like is because it's literally hard as hell to explain. Sandman goes into it so hard lyrically, the beats...almost don't matter - and I'm definitely about dope ass beats, when concerned with hip hop. It's kinda like the beats kind get in the way - like on Calm Tornado. It's a basic, beat. Nothing complex, no Just Blaze layering... and yet it still seems to hold the flow up in certain areas. You keep rewinding back so you can pay attention and focus on each word.

  • Boogie Monster

    @TRULY YRZ the album is actually on High Water Music and I must say that their track record is pretty impeccable right now. As for the Homeboy Sandman album, WOW! Sh*t is amazing. I can think of only one track I would skip and that's because of the beat.

  • peter cottonmouth

    After reading the review, I still can't tell if the album is any good. Is it creative for the sake of being creative or is it dope? Sounds like its an acquired taste to me.

  • Inspirmentalist

    i haven't got a chance to listen to this whole album yet. but since i have brought the nourishment and actual factual pterodactyl from boy sand personally. i already know this album is gonna be a classic just as his previous 2 projects. if i see him again soon i'll probably buy this from him too. peace peace peace -inspirmentalist

  • Jagalon5000

    This is quite possibly the worst review I've read on this site for a long time: "Rollicking, relentless tracks such as the 2 Hungry Bros produced “The Carpenter” and “The Essence”, and the M. Slago laced “Table Cloth” (featuring Fresh Daily) highlight the University of Pennsylvania graduate's infectious, beat embedded rapid fire flow and penchant for dropping dimes like Hugh Hefner." You didn't say anything about the music here! Rollicking is not a real descriptor of hip-hop. When my friends and I are listening to music, I don't think I've ever heard "Hey fam THATS ROLLICKING". And even then, relentless? I guess, but I mean shouldn't all of your tracks be relentless to some extent? All I learned from this is that 2 Hungry Bros produced a couple tracks (Don't know who they are), and that another track is "M Slago" laced, whatever that means. How can your flow be beat embedded? Does he beat box while rapping? That's pretty cool, but I doubt that's what you're trying to say here. Why does anyone care that he's a Univ of Penn graduate? "Lead single “Not Pop” -- a rugged, bounce heavy juggernaut produced by Core Rhythm that quickly causes convulsions -- exemplifies this supreme level of focus: “And every line I wrote / from the top of the album to the bottom of liner notes / every word of Ebonics, word is bond is a solemn oath / Stronger than solid oak.” Bounce heavy juggernaut doesn't say anything. Why does it cause convulsions? How does that quote exmplify a supreme level of focus? Why is this a separate paragrah? "While the cypher rhymes are potent enough to make The Good Sun a worthy listen, Homeboy Sandman’s conceptual cuts remove any perception of a one trick pony. “Mean Mug”, produced by Ben Grimm, is a jollily sublime refutation of faux thuggery, enlisting a Slim Shady-esque zaniness and a slowed, didactic rhyme scheme to ironically exclaim “But I know the tide will change, / faces muscles will become strained / mean mugs will become played / Played out.” The DJ Spinna-produced “Being Haved” adds a splice of personal, delving directly into the environment that bred the artist, a first for a full length Sandman project. Ski Beatz’ dancing flutes and emphatic snare provide the backdrop for “Yeah, But I Can Rhyme Though” -- Boy Sand’s reminder that, as long as a rapper can rhyme, nothing else matters." The beginning of this paragraph is retarded. A "jollilysublime refutation of faux thuggery", lol what is that? The quote you gave is neither zany, didactic, or ironic. The only thing you say about the production is that it did indeed happen and was done by someone. Same with "Being Haved". "Dancing flutes and emphatic snare"... there's a good start. You should do this for anything that you chat about production on. I'll stop here. You clearly didn't edit this review before submitting for publication. I mean, some of the writers here are good, but this crap really brings down the site's rep.

    • tha bizness

      It's funny because, as this is a review, the reviewer somehow used TOO many descriptors. It reads as if the writer just used the thesaurus and chose the most complex words that came up. Good album though haha

    • falixy

      i hear what ur saying. the writer def. is doing backflips with his language. it's show offish perhaps, but he does have talent. still not every sentence should be written like sandman himself wrote it with all the alliteration and million dollar words that makes you look more silly than educated. As for the album, it's def dope. hooks are wack tho. like extremely boars head shit sandwich bad.

  • aliciasw

    Try this dating site ==S e e k Interracial (C/ O /M)== Really Nice!! If you want to find you serious relationship think you can have a try.

  • bswift77

    It's ok not great. He reminds me of Del the Funky Homosapian.

  • E.S.S. Hip Hop

    I like what I hear. Def going to add this to my list of this year's must have's (not downloading!).

    • BRRRR

      bullshit nigga you just downloaded that shit you ain't got to lie about bein a broke nigga i seen you eatin them $5 footlongs, half for lunch and half for dinner

  • ChazRaps

    Truly a fantastic album. Sandman exists somewhere in the troposphere between Freestyle Fellowship and Gucci Mane. I'm a fan of both of them and I really enjoy 'The Good Sun.'

  • Deep of the 2 Hungry bros

    to WTF-MAN that was an incredibly hilarious diss BUBBLinG COCK SAUCE!!! to BRRRR I'm sorry it takes riches to make a hero. So Gucci Mane is dope because he has gold chains? You must like heroes like Batman, Tony Stark, Blue Beetle, Green Hornet, Archangel, The Phantom, they're rich. Sadly Gucci's appearance and perceived riches are unattainable to those who listen to him because they're not smart enough to know that what he raps about doesn't count or isn't real or attempt to make you a better person.

    • BRRRR

      nigga i can't even understand most of gucci's lyrics but that don't matter he still the greatest alive

  • Deep of the 2 Hungry bros

    "P-L-A-N-E-T-E-A-R-T-----H" Whaaaaat!? I liked that chorus. I thought it was funny. And my wife had to tell me what it said. But I appreciated it more. opinions are awesome. oh and Things they carry i thought was awesome because it's such an ode to N.O.R.E... that Queens BLVD style! LEFRAK Thanks for Bigging up our tracks!!!

  • BRRRR

    this nigga looks like he a terrorist he also talks about lickin a man's balls in track 8 this nigga ain't 10% of the rapper gucci is and he broke

    • Michelle Vendel

      Are you fuckin kidding me? You gonna rate a rapper based on how much money they have, and what they look like? Ignorance at it's best. Your taste in music is worthless.

    • BRRRR

      my rep in the streets defines who i am and a fuckin beast is what i am fuck off money grubbin jew ass nigga

    • MddlFingaUp

      Gaaaaaay. If money defines who you are...then how exactly would you define yourself?

  • NYMatt

    I saw him live 1 day and copped his album later that night. He reminds me why hiphop shined, he always comes across hungry but yet still having fun and his flow is crazy. He is definitely the real deal.

  • enid p

    HBS is the real thing. There's no one else doing what he does. And he does it with a smile on his face and a bunch of grace. love his music.

    • BRRRR

      nigga what you meant was: he does it with a beard on his face and live explosives strapped to his chest

  • Rattlesnake93

    Some damn good consensus hip-hop! I listened to the cd a few times, but I'm only diggin about half the tracks, good quality though. But ya, this guy definitely has the potential to make a true classic in the future, I'll be on the look out.

  • Rafir

    "Angels With Dirty Faces" produced by J57 is my jam!

  • Bodega Steve

    HS music can take time to really sink in but it is well worth it, and complex beyond belief This is the next generation of MC'ing His live show is also one of the best in NYC

  • Truly Yrz

    Best album Fat Beats released since Black Milk

  • big-red

    been following sands music for a while know, can't wait!

  • CZZ

    I heard a few tracks already from this album and so far I'm very impressed. Looking foreword to June 1.

  • WTF-MAN

    YEAH WHATEVER THIS SHIT IS BUBBLING COCK SAUCE

  • Big Face Italy

    Creative food 4 thought music.. I like this fresh style and flow Homeboy Sandman brings.

  • SKEEP

    I'm loving this album. Between this and Feel Good Music by ILLUS these are my two favorites in a long while.