The biggest compliment I can pay to Homeboy Sandman is that he always manages to make thoughtful rap without making preachy rap. Whilst he takes pride in writing clever, politically-informed rhymes, the Queens MC also delights in melodies, and he knows how to pen a catchy hook. In the video for “Whatchu Want From Me”, the second single from latest album First of a Living Breed, Sandman’s everyman appeal is on full display.

Whether he’s flipping burgers, selling ice-creams or cutting hair, Homeboy’s keeping it real, charming his customers and treating them with respect. The visual tells us a lot about the man. If he’s a “conscious” rapper, Sandman’s “consciousness” has to do with age-old common sense, rather than conspiracy theories, and he doesn’t bog it down with hyperbolic political imagery.

Even as he raps passionately about the fact that black people shouldn’t make music about killing other black people, or bemoans aggressive cops kicking down doors, Homeboy Sandman does so with a laid-back charisma which prevents him from talking down to his listeners. Bumping fists with his fellow man, Homeboy’s politics is well-grounded, not missionizing. All he asks is this- “Whatchu want?”

Watch the video for “Whatchu Want From Me” below. Check out the lyrics and download the Mp3 (with lyrics) here.