• 06Apr

    Brooklyn Bodega Interviews Homeboy Sandman

    This was intended to be a news piece on the release of BHF Alum, Homeboy Sandman’s latest leaked single, “I Knew.” I texted him for a quick comment mainly to help fill space in the audio post. Gracious as he is, he called me right back. The next thing I knew (pun intended), the conversation traveled miles past “quick comment” and touched down in “interview territory.” The definition of a happy accident. Word to Bob Ross.

    In this impromptu interview, Brooklynbodega.com spoke with Queens lyricist, Homeboy Sandman about “I Knew’s” origins, his next two already completed projects, The Good Sun 9 months later and the cancellation of his full length collaboration with K-Salaam and Beatnick.

    BB: So tell us about “I Knew (Late Night).”

    HBS: It’s just called “I Knew.” Somebody in the internet world decided to put “Late Night” on the title. The music is by a team that’s called The 24 Carat Black. The name of the song is called “Food Stamps.” I think it’s from an album called Ghetto Misfortune or something [Editor’s note: “Food Stamp” appears on Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth]. You know me, I’m a Roots fan. We talked about that a thousand times. I love def, stupid def live instrumentation that lends itself to def raps. I had heard it a while ago because Von [Pea] spit a verse over it on the [2 Hungry Bros], they’re [My Crew's All Thinner] tape and that’s when I first heard it.

    BB: So you just put it out because you felt like [giving something away] or is this the beginning of some new music from you?

    HBS: I got my music finished. I got two records. One of them is called Kool Herc the other one is called Jams About Love. And those are finished. The reason they’re not out right now is because right now I’m looking into some good opportunities to have people help me put the next ones out. I still have the option of self releasing these. I haven’t inked anything with anybody but I’m exploring some really excellent options and that’s the reason why I haven’t released anything in a while. But I got two records finished, and shoot man, by the time they come out I’ll probably have three other ones done. Right now, I’m exploring a couple of options. There’s not really too much I can say [about those]. I will tell you that there’s one label in particular that I hope it works out with because it would be slammin’ and mega, but you know that hasn’t happened yet. And even if that doesn’t work, which it should work, even if it doesn’t the releases will still be super slammin‘ and mega.

    BB: So the K-Salaam album isn’t happening?

    HBS: The K-Salaam joints are not coming out any longer. Shouts to K-Salaam and Beatnick. Those are excellent brothers and are very gifted beat makers. But we came to the conclusion [that] it’s best to [table the project]. It’s me really more than anything else. K-Salaam and Beatnick, I got nothing bad to say about those brothers. I don’t work well with others. It’s not that I don’t work well with others because I do on a certain level. But I’m a very hard headed individual and because of that, it just came to a point where there were some philosophical things we didn’t really see eye to eye on. It became the best move to just respectfully part ways.

    BB: That’s one thing that you’ve always kept at the forefront and been real vocal about: [maintaining] how principled you are with your music and your work.

    HBS: The music, those joints are slamming.

    BB: Yeah. You rocked them right at Brooklyn Bowl [during the Talib Kweli/Bun-B show]. I personally thought the collaboration would’ve been interesting because it’s Homeboy Sandman rocking over more accessible beats for radio and [club] DJs. Like you pointed out on “I Knew,” about people saying this stuff can’t be played on the radio, I thought it would’ve been an interesting combination with K-Salaam and Beatnick because their sound is more radio accessible.

    HBS: Yeah, it would’ve worked. It definitely would’ve worked. But you know, K-Salaam and Beatnick, they’re going to go on and they’re going to produce fantastic records that are going to work. Like I told you, [the tracks we made] it’s great exercise. You do joints. You write joints. Writing makes you a better writer.

    BB: We’re approaching a year almost after The Good Sun. How are you feeling about the project a year later?

    HBS: I’m still feeling good, man. I’m still promoting it like crazy. It’s still on the rise, B. I’m about to go on tour later this month and all next month all across America promoting that album. Everybody in the whole country ain’t heard that album yet. It’s not the type of thing, like I said, I’ve got two other albums done and the reason they’re not out is because we’re taking care of the specifics of that. But until one of them comes out, my entire focus [is promoting The Good Sun]. Even when the new joints come out, [The Good Sun] won’t get stale. But you know obviously I’ve shared my focus a little bit. I still get shouted out everyday about The Good Sun and it’s still getting passed around. It’s still brand new to everybody. There’s still a minority of people that it’s not brand new to anymore, but we got to let everybody hear that record. That’s my take on it.

    BB: Obviously I was privileged, man. You hooked me up with the album. You passed me the early copy almost two months before it even came out. The wild thing is, [The Good Sun] has mad replay value. I know I feel that way personally, but anytime I play that joint for anybody else [they get excited]. It’s that kind of album. And what you’re describing is something that I don’t think a lot of people truly do is work a record anymore.

    HBS: There’s a temporariness, or not even a temporariness, just kind of like an ADD, a mass ADD taking place, or presently taking place. It’s been about 9 months now [since the release of The Good Sun], so it hasn’t even been a year. I know things aren’t the same way it used to be as when [A Tribe Called Quest] would put out a record and that was the record everybody bumped for three years until Tribe put out the new record. Or De La [Soul] or something like that. I know it quite isn’t the same way. But shoot, if the music is that caliber of music it should be able to last more than 15 or 20 minutes.

    BB: Let’s hope so. Everything seems real here today, gone today.

    HBS: Yeah, word, right. Not even a month.

    BB: It’s like if you get on 2DopeBoyz.com at the wrong time of the day then a lot of people still don’t even see that you’re on 2DopeBoyz.

    HBS: Yeah, because you get pushed off, right. [Laughs]

    BB: Where are you touring? What cities are you going to?

    HBS: I’m doing a great tour with The Cunninlynguists. We’re actually doing 30 shows in 33 days. We’re doing all the midwest stuff — Chicago, Wisconsin. I know Wisconsin is a state but, we’re doing Illinois, New Mexico, Idaho. Mad places. I’ve rocked Chicago and I’ve actually rocked Wisconsin, too. But just mad places that I’ve never even rocked before. It’s crazy exciting. I’m finally going to get in [front of] crowds in Washington. All different parts of the country. I don’t have the list in front of me but it should be up on the new HomeboySandman.com and if it’s not, that’s my bad.

    BB: Is this true? Did you really get on Twitter for a day just to reach out to ?uestlove about “I Knew”?

    HBS: Yeah, yeah. Yesterday, I closed the [account] but the day before that I opened it up.

    BB: I’m curious, how many followers did you get that one day that you were on Twitter?

    HBS: To be honest with you, I’m not really sure because it was actually Alice that closed it up. I wasn’t by a computer all day yesterday, but she’ll probably know.

    BB: Do you plan to release anymore singles like this in the near future? Should people be looking out for more [one-off] tracks?

    HBS: I’m not really sure. If the spirit moves me. The spirit just moved me the other day. I recorded [“I Knew”] I think on Friday of last week and waited until Monday because putting it on the weekend wouldn’t maximize it really. I’ve been vocal about my not being huge into giving [music] away. I’ve got mad joints, but none that I intend to give away. This joint was kind of created with like a, “Oh, I’ll give this joint way” [frame of mind]. So if I get another good idea for something to specifically give away, then I’ll put it out.

    For more information on Homeboy Sandman and his upcoming tour, visit HomeboySandman.com.

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