One of the most winning aspects of Homeboy Sandman is his inclination to make a rap song out of pretty much anything and everything. In a genre that can see its auteurs create discographies on a handful of topics, the NYC MC has tracks about canned goods, colors and various other very non-rap subjects. That doesn’t mean he won’t tread on familiar territory. It just means he refuses to be boxed into it.
“Illuminati” is one of my favorite tracks from his Stones Throw debut, First Of A Living Breed. As the title might allude, this could be the “conscious” rap song to end all “conscious” rap songs. The Boy Sand wastes no time getting into it, examining and picking apart everything from government surveillance, GMOs, non-white identities, the war on drugs, and more. The overarching point seems to be if you are so inclined, it’s not difficult to see how so many separate aspects of modern Western society are either designed to distract or disenfranchise basically anyone who is not a rich white man.
As a fan of rap that came up with a feral attraction to so-called conscious hip-hop, it’s pretty cool to see Homeboy Sandman keeping the subversive tradition of the culture alive without becoming trapped to it.