Homeboy Sandman

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Been sleeping on Homeboy Sandman? He’s the kind of emcee that I love: smart, progressive, suspicious but not a conspiracy theorist, a lyricist who spits with skill and doesn’t rely on big beats or choruses. Three summers ago, the 33-year-old Angel Del Villar II signed with Stones Throw, and that yielded 2012’s First of a Living Breed, his debut with the L.A.-based, Peanut Butter Wolf-helmed vanguard label. It’s full of triumphs: the extremely laid-back charm of unrequited flirtation on “Couple Bars (Honey, Sugar, Darling, Sweetie, Baby, Boo),” the sharp political musings of “Illuminati” and the over-the-top corny advice to youth on “For The Kids.” But since then, he’s also thrown down great EPs like Chimera and White Sands.

Tons of people would love to pigeon-hole Homeboy’s output as “conscious rap,” but that feels like a phrase that maybe we’re slowly doing away with. He’s not as in-your-face with his thoughtfulness in the way that Common can be, or as radical and angry as Yasiin Bey. He doesn’t use the power rapping technique that dudes like Talib Kweli or Wale are guilty of on occasion. His poetic and melodic deliveries are subtle and, in him, I hear some of the more innovative artists like Earl Sweatshirt, Cool Kids and the Black Hippie crew. His beats are air horn-free and border on delicious trip-hop and jazz-flavored ambience a la Shabazz Palaces or El-P, deftly employing soul samples and piano tinkles alongside sputtering percussion. This is good hip-hop—and partly good because of who he isn’t. // BILL CHENEVERT

9pm. $15. With the Difference Machine, Lushlife + DJ Bearbait. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
 

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
- Price: Unknown

WHERE
1201 N. Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA
One time only on 06/11/2014. .

FOR MORE INFO
Johnny Brendas

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