This is a second draft. I began this post with a long essay called Why Sandpeople Matters. It talked about race, DIY culture and Portland's reluctance to embrace locally grown hip-hop. I still think there's a piece to be written, but maybe it's bigger than me. I'm no ambassador to the local hip-hop scene. There's plenty I am unaware of and plenty of stuff I just plain don't like. So all I really wanted to say was that I like Sandpeople, and it has been a joy watching the group's members shoot out in all directions these past few years. The fact that they've done pretty much everything without a label, management, PR firm or whathaveyou is an inspiration to me.

So instead of getting collegiate about it, let's just recap a few of their successes.

And before I do, please note that the group is heartbreakingly close to reaching its Kickstarter goal. The Sandpeeps are raising money to tour Europe next month.

His latest record, Lame$tream, is pretty incredible. Great dystopian future beats from Smoke M2D6 and amazing introspective (sometimes sorta depressing) lyrics from Iame. 

It's hard to oversell this guy. He's now a nationally renowned producer and a really impressive MC. He's the backbone of the group's sound and its look.

His battle accomplishments have been well-documented, but much more impressive to me are his recent albums, which are full of soul and spirit while retaining the grit that makes him a battle champ.

A lot of people, including myself, really slept on his album Chainsmoke. To me it is like the most Sandpeople of all the Sandpeople releases. I think this track demonstrates that. It's also a pretty damn impressive cut.

This video pretty much says it all.

There are some big names on this one...

Granted, this isn't a complete roll-call (Only needs to find himself a better internet home), but the point is that there's a lot of talent here. And THAT'S why Sandpeople matters. Happy Sandpeople week, everybody.