Crews aren’t all the rage in hip-hop like they used to be, especially crews hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Sandpeople, a 10-member collective from Portland, Oregon is here to change all that with “Hate Aside,” the first official single from their nine-song EP, Long Story, Short… due out May 26 via Sandpeople Music. “Hate Aside” finds crew-members Sapient, ILLmaculate, Iame, and Ethic spitting over an infectious piano loop accompanied by synth sprinklings and dashes of electric guitar. The verses of each speak directly to the work that Sandpeople have put in, tirelessly determined to get the credit they deserve. Sapient, who is also the producer of the crew, spits “I’m trying to take it like it’s mine for the taking / Live in the place with divine innovation / Why would you hate this? / That’s a sign that your mind’s too prideful, spiteful, invasive / There ain’t sh- you can say.” It sounds like it’s time to take note.
Since the 2005 release of Sandpeople’s debut album, Points of View, the group has seen a growth not only in their own numbers, but also in their rate of musical output. The Sandpeople collective comprises 10 members and several sub-groups, each recording and releasing their own respective works in conjunction with the group projects. The crew’s original members include founding member, Mo-B, as well as ILLmaculate, Onlyone, Gold, iame, Al-One, Simple, and DJ Spark. Later, per request of Mo-B, producer Sapient and rapper Ethic joined the original eight. Points Of View, an album recorded over a two-week span, quickly grabbed the attention of music fans everywhere, creating a cult-like following and spreading virally along the west coast and underground hip-hop scene. That buzz lead to a yearlong courtship by Epic Records, which, although not resulting in a deal with the label, proved to be a very influential and educational time for the crew. Outside of the collective, various Sandpeople members have received numerous solo accolades as well. ILLmaculate, a Portland native, was crowned champion of the 2004 Scribble Jam rap battle at the age of 17; TheSaurus won the 2006 and 2007 World Rap Championships hosted by JumpOff.TV; and group producer, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist, Sapient, has garnered recognition from his work with artists such as Tech N9ne, Inspectah Deck, Sean Price, and Aesop Rock, just to name a few. Sandpeopleâ€™s newest effort, the aptly titled EP Long Story, Short…, is the product of the insight gained from their major label courtship and their deeply ingrained work ethic and self-imposed high standards, and serves to show the continued growth of the crew, both individually and collectively. Long Story, Short… will be available May 26 via Sandpeople Music.