Album Review: Subject: Matter [EP] by Homeboy Sandman
Excellent, Based on 3 Critics
Rolling Stone - 100 Based on rating 5/5
"Many things you hear and you see/Are not what they appear to be,” says Queens rapper Homeboy Sandman on his new EP. It could be his motto. He’s a musical trompe l’oeil artist: His beats build up steam, then take hairpin turns into abstraction; his rhymes start out as straight forward boasts and veer into politics ("Illuminati"), linguistics ("Cops Get Scared of Me") and feeding the needy ("Canned Goods").
The old order of Underground Rap went rudderless for a variety of reasons. Illegal downloading ruptured the already weak tendons of small independent labels. Fans favored 1990s nostalgia over out-there artistry. Top producers got tired of dealing with rap-biz bullshit and opted for MC-free experimentations with jazz, soul, and electronic.
In the evolution of Homeboy Sandman, 2010 witnessed the Queens, New York emcee ascend from a must-see local live act to a proven studio artist with breakaway album, The Good Sun. A perfectionist with intricate globally-reactive songwriting, the last year saw limited material from HBS. However after inking a deal with independent Hip Hop mainstay Stones Throw Records, the AOK member snuck out a digital/vinyl EP in Subject:Matter that alludes to evolving sounds with his remarkable signature writing style.