“Being like everyone else is impending doom.” – Homeboy Sandman interview

Homeboy Sandman by Eric Coleman

Personally, I’m massively into this statement. Why? Because it’s the truth. Most definitely in Homeboy Sandman’s world, anyway.

I spoke to the Queens, New York, emcee after he performed at Manchester’s Kraak a few weeks ago as part of his European tour. You can expect more honesty below. Enlightening, energetic and “actually good”;  you need to check this guy out if you haven’t already.

Watching you perform the other week, I was amazed by your energy. You reminded me of an excited child. What does performing mean to you?

Performing is the essence. Back in the Cro-Magnon days there wasn’t no recorded music. No mp3s, no tapes, no videos, no nothing. Just a neanderthal banging rocks together and getting the party jumping. I would have held it down even back then.

How was the European tour on the whole? Do you have any interesting stories?

It was dope. In Paris a woman let me use her own personal body lotion since they didn’t have any at the hotel. That was nice. In Weisbaden they did a beautiful graffiti piece of my name that is now my Facebook fanpage picture. In Bristol I performed mad sick and woozy but actually had a great show just because my vibe was so bizarre. Plenty of great stories.

You’ve been promoting Chimera, which I’ve discovered is part of a long list of releases – it must be nice to be able to find inspiration on a regular basis as some people can find it hard. What inspires you to create and what motivates you to tour/record/perform on a regular basis?

I think I’m inspired by being alive. Being grateful for being alive. So as long as I’m alive, I expect I’ll be inspired.

Someone told me that you have a unique sound, someone told me that you have an old school sound. I was slightly confused. Can you tell me what you think your sound is and are you really aiming to be placed in a box?

Hell nah. I’m impossible to box. My sound is dope. Other than that, it’s ever changing. I have a phrase “Boy Sand like you’ve never heard him before, as usual.”

I ask this because I don’t think you are. Your flow has rhythms that shouldn’t make sense but do and you talk about subjects that even many underground artists wouldn’t broach. It’s an interesting sound! Do you feel like you’re taking a huge risk by making it this way instead of doing it in a tried and tested manner?

Thank you. No not at all. Being yourself is no risk. It’s the only way to succeed. Being like everyone else is impending doom.

I understand that you were a teacher before you started music? How has your time in education influenced your current work?

It made it crystal clear to me that the people that control the media control young people’s minds.

I don’t know if you saw the hip-hop debate on Google recently but if you did, what did you think about it? One interesting point in a review of the debate, was how some of the panellists were riling against a mainstream hip-hop sound. They were insinuating about the hip hop that’s full of violent lyrics. The review claimed that it doesn’t exist anymore because now it’s become out and out fantasy-filled pop music. For example, Drake, Kanye West, Jay Z… Do you agree with this and would you say underground hip hop has a big part to play in preserving the elements hip hop had when it started?

Nah I didn’t see it. People are starting to use the term “underground,” as a synonym for “actually good.” That’s pretty bizarre. I’d prefer for you to call us “actually good,” instead of “underground,” please. Of course, a big part of being “actually good,” is having something important to say, having a unique perspective and in general having something better to do than push a corporate agenda promoting harmful, yet money generating (for the people that already have all the money) lifestyles.

Even though you’ve years of experience in this field of music, what do you have planned for the future – or more so, hope to achieve?

I plan to change the entire world with my music. To promote love and freedom.

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