In the Earbuds portion of things, I discuss a song I recently stumbled or re-stumbled upon. For this episode, I recently rediscovered Homeboy Sandman‘s “Illuminati”, released on his 2012 project First of a Living Breed via Stones Throw Records. There was something hypnotic about the hollow melody and robotic synths and how they worked in harmony with the low thump-and-click of the drum/kick combination. Sandman’s purposely monotone delivery really allowed the lyrics to be digested on the first run; instant creative appreciation. Thematically ominous. From a narrative perspective, instead of dancing around the subject of some sort of oligarchical body surreptitiously influencing our day to day life, to their benefit/our detriment, he used a direct approach without sacrificing the poetic integrity which is a staple of his discography.
Here’s some quotes which stuck out to me..
“We used to beat on Bush but now he’s not around / So people find a different ‘bush’ to beat around..”
“Type girls straighten out their tight curls , everybody wants to be a skinny white girl/ cuz all you see are skinny white girls/ but black girls are allowed if they’re gettin loud or they’re gettin loud/ keep em from being proud, its easy to keep em down/ keep em drowned in doubt, keep em down n out/ favor Flavor, chuck the Chuck D, you can say that black is ugly, long as you say it roundabout/ ”
“its not the type of ish with which to clown around/ rap to em bout cappin pals instead of cap’n’gowns”
“… and institute a military state .. provide military aid to Israel just to rub it in their face” ( *cough* Israel / Gaza Genocide )
It’s not just the message he is conveying. It’s not just how it was articulated. It’s the overall oddly ominous, almost-surreal feeling I experienced when I first listened to it while strolling through the lazily illuminated walkways of the Arizona State Fair that pitch-black, chilly evening. The song felt like the quintessential “fall joint” you play during dusk. It struck an immediate chord with me based on that , alone. Sonically it was brilliantly executed; it’s also about the first impression, though. The environment you are in, the mood you are in when first trying out a song can have a long lasting impact on your perception of it. If the stars align perfectly enough, it can even create or reaffirm a specific chapter of your life. That’s the beauty of music. This is why I cannot see myself ever permanently parting from appreciating it from a connoisseur’s perspective.
So, without further Apoo, let’s RoQ ..
Homeboy Sandman – “Illuminati”
If you’re digging the music, you can check out the project, First of a Living Breed in it’s entirety on Itunes.
What is the last song you listened to which had a deep impact. It could be new or old, doesn’t matter. Let US know, my fellow RoQ Riffs!!