Homeboy Sandman is a name buzzing in several circles concurrently. His honest, sarcastic, emotional lyrics coupled with a laissez faire flow have him sitting very snugly in the pocket. His music puts everything on display without a thought for the neighbours, making something so authentically true to the artist it is impossible to replicate, good luck trying. He released an album in 2020 called Don’t Feed The Monster, entirely produced by Quelle Chris, and now Homeboy Sandman’s latest project has been announced to much backpack fanfare. The upcoming EP is called Anjelitu, with production duties going to underground laureate skater Svengali Aesop Rock. His style of beats usually leans towards low-slinging, dusty blues sci fi, so the mix is perfect. The two rappers even have a group together called Lice, so the chemistry is on point. Their heartfelt tribute to MF DOOM, “Ask Anyone”, will keep DOOM season continuing indefinitely.
The latest single to drop in preparation for the EP’s release is called “No Beef”, and I was expecting a rousing, conscious peace anthem, but no. This track is just an excuse for another preachy vegan to start dishing out judgment and scorn on decent folks. Jokes aside, as a long time insufferable vegan myself, I’m just happy to hear it approached in a hip-hop track about it as they are few and far between. Reggae has a few, folktronica is bubbling with them and punk has frankly too many, it’s enough already. “No Beef” is now the definitive hip-hop veganism song, and the one to beat. The staggered drums and wonky synths from Ace Rock bang differently, leading to the head bop with the little shake added for effect. Homeboy Sandman presents an impassioned case for the health, environmental and ethical benefits of veganism but sounds cool doing it, which is a trick very few have managed to pull off.
“It’s been said everyone would be vegan if slaughterhouses were made of glass
But I’m afraid the reason for it is even more sordid, slaughterhouses are made of cash”
The titular hook utilises a Slick Rick sample nicely, while Homeboy Sandman continues to break down the facts into easily digestible soy-based chunks. His witticisms along with his obvious passion made this a welcome addition to a frequently po-faced cause.
“Some men feel like eating beef is manly
But doing things because you think they’re manly
Isn’t very manly
It’s said that most adult intestines contain pounds of undigested beef
That is no joke
That is so gross”
It’s unclear how much impact this track will have on the meat and dairy industries, but along with such illustrious company as Andre 3000 and Waka Flocka Flame, Homeboy Sandman could also provide an image of veganism that people could get behind in a way that being shouted at in the street never could for some reason. Snowflakery aside, if the music on Anjelitu maintains this level of quality, it will be another classic added to both artists’ catalogues, possibly a spot on an indie film soundtrack and a temporarily satiated fanbase. We can all hope for more though, some tremors are only felt above ground. Anjelitu is released on August 6 on Mello Music Group, tell a pal.