The day or two after writing my last post about Homeboy Sandman, I decided to go ahead and grab a copy of The Good Sun. I’m certainly glad that I did, as it has been playing almost nonstop for the past few nights now. Homeboy Sandman really is a breath of fresh air when it comes to more recent hip hop releases for me. While the folks at Stones Throw and the artists that they associate with are always putting out very creative and quality records, I have had a hard time really getting into anything else over the last couple years when it comes to non-ST related hip hop albums. I mean, I have definitely listened to a lot of hip hop during this time (even outside of the usual ST related stuff of course), but I would say that a lot of these releases are from at least 2006ish and back. It is very late as I’m writing this, so I may be forgetting some artists or works, but off the top of my head I can only think of Danny Brown’s Hybrid and XXX releases as being a few of the only albums that I have really gotten into lately that were released within the last couple of years (thanks to the good folks who make up the hip hop community at Turntable.FM for putting me onto those!). So with that being said, The Good Sun is what I would consider a fantastic find. Homeboy Sandman is such an original artist and it’s great to see a more recent release like this being put out and receiving a fair amount of exposure by the hip hop community considering how far it does go outside of what a lot of people seem to be focused on as far as rap music goes these days.
Homeboy Sandman’s unique flow over the fantastic production that is present on the album (from producers like Ski Beatz, 2 Hungry Bros, KO Beatz, and many more) combine well together. Almost every song on the record was produced by someone different (with 11 of the 14 tracks from different producers), which is surprising to me after listening to the full thing. While each song does have a different sound from the next, the album doesn’t feel disjointed at any point. I think a lot of this has to do with how well Sandman can adjust the flow of his rap to fit each beat. This aspect of his music goes to show how skilled Sandman is on the mic in my opinion, as asking this from a lot of rappers wouldn’t really work out too well I imagine. Homeboy Sandman’s versatile rap style is one of my favorite things about this album and the other music that he has produced.
While Sandman’s rap is incredibly on point for this record, at certain points in the album I did find myself a little annoyed by some of the hooks in songs. I normally wouldn’t complain about anything like this and I don’t wish to harp on it too much, but the noticeable difference between the rap content and the hooks on certain tracks is enough to sort of “blemish” the song to me. This seems to be more of a problem earlier on the record, with examples of this in songs like Strange Planet, Yeah But I Can Rhyme Though, Low Co., and Not Pop. On each of these tracks the hook seems to interfere with the general flow of the song. I would definitely say that the content of these songs more than makes up for any slight annoyances I may have had at these certain times though. I only mention this issue here in case someone is reading and is turned off by the hook of a few of his songs. If you listen to the full work, it will become clear that this is only an issue with some of the tracks in the first half of the album.
It would also be quite unfortunate if you stopped listening to The Good Sun before checking out the second half. The last three songs of the album in particular provide a very strong conclusion and I would argue that they are the best reflection of his musical styling as far as this album is concerned. The tracks sound very different from one another, yet Sandman remains consistent in painting an interesting picture for the listener to take in through his music. I would recommend giving The Good Sun a listen from these last tracks alone (though you should still check out the rest of the record too, you will enjoy it!).
The Good Sun isn’t a perfect album by any means, but I greatly appreciate it when artists like Homeboy Sandman are willing to move away from what a lot of other folks are doing in order to present their own unique ideas and sound to the hip hop genre. It does not surprise me at all that Peanut Butter Wolf recently signed him to Stones Throw. I’m looking forward to seeing the future of Sandman’s work, I imagine he will do well on a label like ST that has a long history of being incredibly supportive of thinking outside the box when it comes to music.
By the way, if you are wishing to pick this album up, I would highly recommend grabbing it on wax. Not only do you get the full release on MP3 with the included code in the package, but you also get the sweet clear and blue colored vinyl as well (I’m a sucker for colored records). Definitely give this one a listen if you are looking for some original music.
Songs included above are Angels With Dirty Faces and Yeah But I Can Rhyme Though.