Homeboy Sandman may be something of an oddity in the realm of Hip-Hop. After graduation from the University of Pennsylvania and a brief stint at law school, Sandman turned his attention to his rap career, which has proven to be a good move. With the latest addition to his discography, the Subject: Matter EP, Sandman continues to define himself as the MC that more people should be paying attention to. Active since 2007, Subject: Matter is his first work as a member of the Stones Throw music movement.

There’s no one that immediately comes to mind in terms of comparisons when you listen to Sandman’s latest offering, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The EP begins with “The Miracle”–an in-depth and creative account of Sandman’s writing process. The diction and imagery he uses on this track is immaculate. To the average listener, it may seem like he’s just throwing fancy words together for the sake of rhymes. But upon closer inspection, it’s clear that he is intertwining his unique flow with clever lyrics. It might go over some peoples’ heads, but Sandman’s unapologetic demeanor throughout the EP lets the listeners know that he doesn’t really care.

Besides the consistent presence of intelligent lyrics, the organic instrumentals that Subject: Matter provides make the whole experience cohesive. Boasting contributions from 2 Hungry Bros, Jonwayne, and the Audible Doctor just to name a few, the beats that were selected for this project complement Sandman’s lyrics very well. A standout track is “Unforgettable”, a soulful and laid-back cut that details Sandman’s sexual preferences, exploits, and experiences.

Another interesting thing about this EP is the variety of subject matter that is presented. “Canned Goods” takes a look at Sandman’s upbringing, the earthquake in Haiti, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Hurricane Irene. Presenting an honest and personal look at each of them, this track excels because it is exactly the type of subject matter that Homeboy Sandman is comfortable tackling.

All in all, Homeboy Sandman’s latest offering is worth a purchase. The style he provides through-out the 6 tracks on Subject: Matter shows off his intelligence–something a lot of Hip-Hop is missing these days. His story-telling abilities and vivid imagery go hand-in-hand on every track. With songs featuring anything from clever sexual metaphors to truthful social commentary, Subject Matter has something you will almost surely be able to identify with.

-Antonio Silas


  • ianism

    it’s worth pointing out that he deliberately tackled topics which have never been addressed in hip-hop before.
    ‘the miracle’ is about this creative process
    ‘mine all mine’ lists all the things he has, focusing on the mundane (rather than the cars, etc)
    ‘unforgettable’ reminisces about a girl who was great in bed (but their relationship didn’t work out) and how the other girls he sleeps with aren’t as good
    ‘sweet emotion (orchard beach)’ sees him kicking game to the magnificent women of orchard beach using nautical references
    ‘canned goods’ illustrates how useful canned goods in the context of the topics mentioned in the article
    aaaand ‘soap’ uses soap and cleaning as metaphors for the need to wash away the unfair, unjust and greedy structures that are dragging western society (and the world) into the ground

    enjoy 🙂