If you’re not listening to Homeboy Sandman, you may be missing the most stylistically agile MC ever to spit. And if you don’t cop his official debut, then you’re depriving yourself of an album that’s worthy of more superlatives than could possibly fit in this or any other review space.
Although Boy Sand has been one of the top underground MCs in New York for at least two years now, his albums have been weak given his vocal, lyrical, and conceptual prowess. Such early non-barcode releases as Actual Factual Pterodactyl were bloated with mind-bending bangers, but they lacked the architecture that separates great efforts from outstanding feats.
Without suffering from overproduction or unnecessary cameos and gospel-choir choruses, The Good Sun is universes larger than most phenomenal rap albums. Not a single rhyme is out of place; laughs and lessons fly at every turn; the hooks beg to be sung loud on the subway. Even the sequencing deserves applause, with each track riding in a different direction on Boy Sand’s freight train of thought.
Thanks to his inventive aptitude, as well as inspired production from Two Hungry Bros, Psycho Les, and others, every cut is a potential classic. “The Carpenter” is an intro comparable to Nas’s “NY State of Mind”; “Yeah, But I Can Rhyme Though” is the most clever autobiographical track since Q-Unique’s “The Résumé”; “Mean Mug,” with the proper payola scheme, could challenge any Black Eyed Peas party fart for the feel-good commercial crack rock of the year. Will this disc change hip-hop? Yes, but only for those who listen to it.
Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article, the label on which The Good Sun came out was misidentified as Asylum instead of High Water Music. The correction has been made above.