Being part of a hip-hop crew comes with benefits – never get lonely on the road, never run out of song ideas, the more the merrier, right? Sure, right up until show money and royalty checks need to get split. So Sandpeople, a 10-member hip-hop collective repping Portland, Oregon, have a lot of mouths to feed, and just like Wu needed C.R.E.A.M. back in ’93, in 2009, Sandpeople are in pursuit of that almighty greenback with “Money On Their Minds,” from Long Story, Short… the Pacific Northwest collective’s new studio EP.
Over a slick vocal sample, hard drums, guitar loops, and synth stabs courtesy of producer/rapper, Sapient, crew members Al-One, Ethic, Mo-B, Sapient, Gold, and Onlyone trade tales about the struggle, hustle, and hopes of an independent artist. Highlighting his own grind and aspirations, Ethic raps, “We gotta hustle strong ’till the customer’s gone/ ‘Till the rented van turns into a bus that we’re on/ And independent plans turns all of us into dons/ ‘Cause the business plan holds up just as much as the song does Yeah, it’s all love/ But it’s all from our own pockets, and we can’t eat off a small buzz.” While the jury is still out on the success of that business plan, the verdict on the song is in – Sandpeople have a great one on their hands with “Money Is On Their Minds.”
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 scenes. That buzz lead to a yearlong courtship by Epic Records, which, although not resulting in a deal with the label, proved very influential and educational 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, and group producer, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist, Sapient, has garnered recognition from his work with artists such as 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 insight gained from their major label courtship and the deeply ingrained work ethic and self-imposed high standards of the crew. With a new full-length on the way, the EP serves to show the continued growth of the crew, both individually and collectively. Long Story, Short… is available everywhere via Sandpeople Music.
“Money Is On Their Minds”