Queens-raised MC Homeboy Sandman is a prolific and prodigiously talented wordsmith who scored one of SPIN's 40 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2012 — with an EP, no less. The onetime MTV MADE talent coach has a gift for bringing old-school rap tenets (smarts, ability, style) into the now, so it makes sense that his next release pays direct tribute to the man who started it all: Kool Herc.
On May 7, Stones Throw will release Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent, a new eight-song set styled as "an unapologetic homage to old school hip-hop in its bare-bones production, lyrical themes, cover art and even the title." That titular DJ, for the uninitiated, is credited with discovering the breakbeat, hence laying the very foundation of the art form. The entire thing will be produced by El RTNC (a.k.a. Rthentic) except for the track below — a soulful bubbler courtesy of Alex "Apex" Gale. For every release, Homeboy records an "Out Now" rap announcing the new songs and showcasing his verbal shine. While others would serve up a throwaway or never even bother, Sandman rhymes in the only mode he knows: full bore.