Album Review: Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun

Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun
High Water Music: 2010
Purchase on Amazon

Here’s a question: What’s driving hip-hop these days? It sure isn’t those dudes pedaling their half-assed mixtapes, name dropping at every chance they get. It’s not the artists who are still stuck in the 1990s, listing off all the typical sucker-emcee disses. The artists driving hip-hop today are progressive; they have soul and purpose. Most importantly, they have originality – that certain X-factor that differentiates them from the endless crowd of passé emcees and producers who clog e-mail inboxes. Enter Homeboy Sandman.

The Queens rapper has been working the circuit alongside underground legends for years, and with his debut full-length, The Good Sun, Homeboy Sandman is poised to finally step into the limelight. Right out of the gates, Homeboy makes his intentions clear. “This is not pop” is not just a hook, it’s an affirmative chant – a declaration that the music here really is operating above the industry par. Homeboy is an intellectual in every sense of the word. He accurately analyzes society at all its levels, from rabid social media and internet freeloaders to those who jeopardize artistic integrity. On “Mean Mug”, Homeboy even offers a lighthearted moment to those who insist on ‘hardness’ as a way of life.

Not only is Homeboy talented with words, but the music is delightfully enjoyable as well. He swerves with ease between vicious double-time bars and soft, sing-songy musings. Not only does this make the listen more engaging by slashing any chances of monotony, but it also paces the album as Homeboy adjusts to the mood of each track accordingly. The production, courtesy of M Slago, 2 Hungry Bros, Ski Beatz, Core Rhythm and more, offers a pleasant variety of accessible melodies, tricky drum loops, and standard boom-bap that recalls (but doesn’t imitate) the Native Tongues era.

Perhaps the best part of this album is that it goes out with a bang – four times over. The final four tracks on this album are undoubtedly some of the finest hip-hop of the year. “The Things They Carried” features guest appearances from Daniel Joseph and John Robinson, and carries along a narrative similar to that of the book it’s named after. The emcees pick whatever objects are in their pockets, and say what the objects mean about them and their lives. It’s so simple, yet innovative. Not to be outdone, the following “Calm Tornado” sees Homeboy spitting with a conversational tone that somehow screams brilliance. After 14 jam-packed songs, the key to The Good Sun’s success is clear: Homeboy refuses to settle for the ordinary. Rappers take note.

★★★★½

4.5 out of 5
[audio:http://potholesinmyblog.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Homeboy-Sandman-Yeah-But-I-Can-Rhyme-Though.mp3|titles=Homeboy Sandman – Yeah But I Can Rhyme Though]

12 thoughts on “Album Review: Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun

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  1. This album is one of my favorite albums of 2010, for its musicality and overall vibe. Cohesive album, with consistently dope tracks. The beats are well-produced.

    This album is seriously the breath of fresh air that ive been craving from hip hop lately. Lots of variety, from sick, hardcore tracks to tracks about relationships.

    At first, I wasnt feelin the more artsy tracks, such as “Mean Mug” and “Calm Tornado”. After listenin to this cd on and off for months now, the tracks i wasnt feelin at first have become my favorite ones. This is what differs a good cd from a GREAT cd. Its initial enjoyment increases as you listen to it more and more.

    I mean, the musicality on tracks like “Angels with Dirty Faces” and “Listen” just by themselves make this cd worthy of purchasing.

    If you like the bangers, then check out tracks like “not pop”, “the carpenter”, and the bouncy “being haved”.

    That’s all, homeboy if you read this, HI. Peace from Canada

  2. This is a great album, and Homeboy Sandman’s lyrics and word play are on point. There are so many Easter Eggs in this album you’ll still be finding them for years to come!

  3. I like this album. It’s like the beats don’t really matter, even though they fit well. It’s a nice way to take the hype out of hip-hop and go straight-no-chaser with it. Dude gets a 4 rating for the wordplay by itself, glad i copped it!

  4. Fred Castano|

    Reyn’s been tellin me bout dude, looks like it’s time to stop sleeping!

  5. HBS and ILLUS are my two new favorite artists and both put out amazing albums this year. Good Sun and Feel Good Music will both go down as classics in my opinion. Two very different albums but both high quality, honest, passionate and original. Damn, I love HipHop!

  6. moore, arthur|

    “Angels with Dirty Faces” is by far thee best joint. He’s a genius

  7. Its a brand new day, the good son wins.

  8. AllEnPoe|

    Yo, all the albums put out on the High Water Music Label have been progressive and original. I can’t remember the last time I was this pleased with a label.

  9. One of my favourite albums this year!

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