Homeboy Sandman Is A True Original. Watch Him Spit A Freestyle Like No Other MC.
Fresh off the release of his Dusty album (embedded below), Queens, New York’s Homeboy Sandman popped by Peter Rosenberg’s HOT 97 late show to converse about life, his artistic journey, the importance of uniqueness, and monotony in today’s Hip-Hop climate.
The 39-year-old Elmhurst representative, who has solidified himself as one of the most authentic, insightful, and quick-witted underground rappers of the last two decades, has forever remained on an unorthodox journey. Both the unique musical and personal voyages of the once Ivy League law student-turned-MC were highlighted throughout the duration of the interview with Rosenberg, who is a close friend and once invited Homeboy to his wedding.
When asked about his peculiar career path, not conforming to any trends and staying in his own lane while maintaining relevance, Homeboy answers, “I feel like I just gotta kick these rhymes and try to be me, because I’m nervous.” Surprised by the candor and suggested anxiousness, Rosenberg notes that he doesn’t see Homeboy in that light because he seems so calm in all settings. Homeboy continues, “In my mind I feel like I’m nervous. I’m too nervous in my mind to really be nervous about what’s going on outside. That don’t really compare at all to the jungle in my mind.”
In an intriguing portion of the interview, Homeboy, who admittedly stays “out of the loop” when it comes to modern Hip-Hop trends, was played DaBaby’s “Vibez” as his first ever introduction to the budding rapper, and asked for his opinion of it. Seeming somewhat unmoved, Homeboy playfully states, “You [caught] me on a unique day—in the middle of a water fast. On a normal day I would say, that’s cool. Shouts to DaBaby, and it ain’t for me to validate him, but for me I think it’s cool. I’ll keep it there.”Rosenberg then follows up with Mac Miller’s “Small Worlds” to which Homeboy shows more enthusiasm towards, expressing, “I thought that was an enjoyable listening experience. There was stuff that was creative and artistic.” Following up on DaBaby and the importance of being original, Homeboy states “Without hearing anything, I feel like I’ve heard stuff like DaBaby before. I’m into a specific type of surgery or even a specific type of energy. I don’t like things that remind me of other stuff. I’m running out of time, hours are getting shorter every second, who knows when they are going to stop. What can I fill this [time] with to get some new stimulus?”
When questioned about his new release Dusty and what version of Homeboy listeners can expect on the album, the MC, speaking in the third-person, explains, “That version is no longer with us. He can rhyme and is crazy ill though.” Speaking on the ever-changing nature of his friend, Rosenberg states “You’re an interesting cat. I’ve never known another you.”
At 25:00, Rosenberg eventually cues Homeboy to freestyle in what ends up being some of the most impressive two minutes of wordplay to grace the late night show all year. With Madlib’s “Mystic Bounce” from his Blue Note Records remix work as the foundation, H.B.S. expertly crafts bar after bar of his seemingly nonchalant and razor-sharp style. Rapping on his skill-set and growth, he asserts “Every time I take it from the top I drop jewelry gems / Growing up my state of mind was us against them / Nowadays I think it doesn’t hardly make sense / Because I hardly make friends.” Touching on unethical self-promotion and his own reputation, he delivers “I’m not the one that uses tragedy to self promote / But whatever floats your boat, folks / Reputation solid gold so I’m good to go on both coasts.” With absolute confidence, BoySand proclaims, “Underground for now but not for long, ’cause when I’m gone they’re gonna study me.”
Rosenberg ends the interview praising Homeboys performance, excitedly saying “The complexity of bars and how effortlessly he did that in one take.. the amount of times you guys don’t know that we have to stop the cameras and recordings or redo things because people can’t get through their bars, no disrespect, that are a 1/10 as complicated to get through, and to stay in pocket!”
#BonusBeat: Stream and support Homeboy Sandman’s Mello Music Group album, Dusty, produced by Mono En Stereo (fka RTNC):