In an interview with Out Da Box Radio, the Queens emcee also touches on his progression as an artist, the creative freedom Stones Throw allows and severing ties with the Huffington Post.
Earlier this year Homeboy Sandman embarked on a series of single producer releases after signing with California based label Stones Throw in 2011. The format has thus far yielded two releases for the Queens bred rapper; the first, Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent was released in April and produced entirely by Rthentic RTNC while the second, All That I Hold Dear, was just released in August. In a recent interview with Out Da Box Radio, Homeboy Sandman revealed that these two EP’s represent the beginning of a much larger series. He also talked about working with largely unknown but longtime collaborators like Rthentic and M Slago as well as more known producers like DJ Spinna and even Madlib.
On Working With Single Producers For Past And Future Releases
While the producers attached to his recently released EP’s are largely unknown, Homeboy Sandman noted that Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent and All That I Hold Dear were opportunities to continue working with people that paved his own road to success. “These are guys that I’ve worked with before I was on Stones Throw,” he said, “before I had achieved the level of notoriety that I have now, these were guys I was already working with.
"M Slago did a track on my Good Sun album in 2010," he continued. "Rthentic RTNC, we’ve done joints, I did a joint on his release that came out a couple of years ago. I’m working with 2 Hungry Bros. I’m also working with some little more known cats like JonWayne, DJ Spinna. But I feel like if I’m gonna have the opportunity to work with JonWayne, DJ Spinna, Oh No, Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, I should also make it my responsibility, the same way people would put me on when I was a lesser known just because I was mad nice, I know dudes who are mad nice at a worldwide level like Rthentic RTNC, like M Slago, I’m always gonna rock with them. And even came into the strategy of how I was gonna start off these producer based releases, I wanted to make sure that the first couple of them was with people that are in large part people off-radar because they’re crazy, because they’re slamming. I didn’t want the first one to come out be somebody everybody knew and then have the second one have people not check for like ‘oh I only checked for the other one because it was a producer I knew.’ I want people to check for all of these because all of these, whether you know the producer or not, are gonna be slamming.
"Yeah there are some producers that are slamming that are world famous," concluded Homeboy Sandman. "There’s also some slamming producers that are not world famous. Rthentic, M Slago, some of the other people I mentioned, as an emcee that’s the wind beneath my wings. These people played a major role with me making it to where I am. So I have opportunities with Stones Throw being there and being so understanding and so supportive of everything I want to do, which is also a blessing, I have an opportunity here to shed some light on these guys’ creative genius so I’m gonna do that.”
On Signing With Stones Throw And The Possibility Of Working With Madlib
Upon first signing with the label, Homeboy Sandman released the full-length First Of A Living Breed as well as the EP Chimera in 2012. Responding to a question about the label, Boy Sand admitted that the deal has allowed him a good deal of artistic mobility. “It really is a place of just liberty, of creative freedom,” he said.
“I don’t know what it was like back in the day, but I would imagine—you know, you talk about the work that Dilla was doing there, and Madlib was doing stuff—and it was different, but a label like Stones Throw is always gonna be different because different things are always gonna be coming through the pipeline. Five years from now Stones Throw will be different from the way it is now because the artists there are involved in artists that are looking to do things that haven’t been done before. You know Dilla was looking to break new ground, and that’s the type of artists that Peanut Butter Wolf is looking for. Right now it is a little bit of a different era and I was talking to people, a lot of people will look at this as the third era. Because after the Madlib Madvillain and the Dilla era, then people have the Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne era, which people are taking up a lot. And now people are starting to look at Dam Funk and obviously myself. There’s always different components that are shining when it comes to Stones Throw.”
Given his signing with Stones Throw, many have wondered about the possibility of the Good Sun emcee collaborating with the prolific producer that has released so much music on the label. “We talked about hopefully having some Madlib on the horizons,” he said. “I get that question a great deal and hopefully we’re moving closer and closer to that. There has been some contact and some creative energy exchanged and there has been some products produced, there’s ‘i’s’ to dot and ‘t’s’ to cross but I’m in just as much anticipation for that stuff to be released as anybody else. I hope that’s on the horizon. But definitely shout to the brother ‘Lib, I gotta keep things in the works when it comes to some of them ‘Lib sounds.”
Homeboy Sandman Talks About Inconsistency And Distractions In Hip Hop
In the first half of the interview, the emcee explained his aversion for Hip Hop artists’ hypocrisy and the common justification that this is part of “being human.” “To me it’s not about making mistakes or ‘I’m only human’” he said. “I don’t like what I see in Hip Hop now. There’s a difference between being human and being inconsistent, between being human and being a hypocrite. And I see all these cats coming out like ‘oh I’m gonna ride the fence, some days I’m gonna be about trying to do what’s right and other days I’m gonna throw caution to the wind and have no responsibilities at all, that’s just human of me.’ That’s not human, that’s having no backbone, that’s not standing for anything, that’s what that looks like to me. I don’t buy this ‘yo, we can’t stand for anything as human beings, we can’t have convictions as human beings, we are slaves to instant gratification if the opportunity should arise, we are slaves to glamour and glitz and these stupid decisions are a part of being human.’ I don’t buy that at all, I hate that how that is hyped up in Hip Hop, I think it’s purposefully hyped up in Hip Hop.”
On No Longer Writing For Huffington Post And Severing Ties With Mitchell And Ness
“In that line I’m talking about that I brought up earlier," he said in reference to a lyric that appears on a YC The Cynic song, "‘They only cared about my hat when it was Mitchell and Ness / And only read my articles when they were on Huff Po which made me reflect.’ People were coming up to me like ‘yo, you write for Huff Po? That’s phat.’ Nobody talking about the ish I’m writing about, I’m still writing, I stopped writing for Huff Po because they wouldn’t publish my last piece because it implicated AOL and they’re owned by them and they wouldn’t publish it. But I still write, but cats don’t check for it because it’s not on Huff Po." The article that he referenced was called "Jailhouse Roc: The FACTS About Hip Hop and Prison for Profit" and was eventually published and shared elsewhere.
He continued by explaining his connection with Mitchell and Ness, a company that he collaborated with for a unique "Homeboy Sandman" fitted hat. "I didn’t want to have a Mitchel and Ness hat because Mitchel and Ness don’t give a damn about nobody," he said. "They charging $30 for a hat and they don’t care about cats that think they cool, they’re not providing, there’s no return on that investment for cats that are supporting Mitchel and Ness. But people come up to me—and this to me was cool, I got to design the hat and it said Homeboy on the front—but cats were coming up to me saying ‘yo, you got a Mitchell & Ness hat,’ I said ‘this is a Homeboy Sandman hat,’ you know what I’m sayin’? It’s the name and the brand and the celebrity that people get the value from, this fame and celebrity is a distraction.”
Listen to the interview below.