Homeboy Sandman - Still Champion LP (blue/white vinyl)
Homeboy Sandman - Still Champion LP (Mello Music Group/USA)
"Fresh Air" Edition, Blue & White A-Side/B-side Pattern Vinyl, MMG Discobag
Following a 19-stop tour, the incomparable Homeboy Sandman and MC/producer Deca come together to release Still Champion, a ten-song masterpiece brimming with positivity, deliciously soulful production and enough affirmations to move a mountain.
After first being introduced to Deca’s music back in 2020 via mutual friend Matt Diamond (who sent him the Colorado MC’s single “Clay Pigeons”), Homeboy went on a deep dive, eventually discovering “Fairburn” off of the mostly instrumental effort Forest Agates. This beat became their first collaboration, “All Because of You,” which dropped in January 2021. The song perfectly set the tone of what was to come.
The LP serves as a spiritual apex (something Sand notes he hasn’t felt close to since his 2010 effort The Good Sun), with a victorious tone as he once again finds himself creating from a happy headspace.
The unmistakable sense of connectedness is something Sandman directly attributes to Deca’s production and approach to songwriting, of which he counts himself a huge fan. Specifically, he praises how [Deca’s] music focuses on what one could consider truly meaningful. He doesn’t boast about how great or cool he is in his rhymes.
Homeboy is–admittedly–a much different artist, not one to shy away from injecting ego into his discography; however, they sonically connect like peanut butter and jelly.
The resulting influence from their musical partnership sees the New York rhymer remaining steadfast to an optimistic, grateful vibe, never wasting time on typical rap-isms or anything devoid of a message.
This is a pivotal project in Sandman’s deep catalog. It’s the end of an arc that began with 2019’s Dusty, an album he loved at the time but unabashedly considers the furthest depth he strayed from God. Likewise, in his eyes, the follow-up (2020’s Don’t Feed The Monster) served as a rock bottom. While there were signs of the hard work he’s put into his mental health apparent on his last EP There in Spirit (see the song “Feels so Good to Cry” as an example), with Deca’s curation in tow, he has now reached a point of feeling powerful again.
Having learned from faltering in different ways throughout his career—and life—this album delivers a powerful potency not felt or heard in past releases. Still Champion is chicken soup for the soul blended in a pot with the best Ted Talk you’ve ever heard.