Home Alone


Good evening.

I've spent my share of time writing about the heavy weights of Minneapolis music. To refocus the aim I want to spread the good word about my favorite underground cat, Homeless. Born and bred in Minnesota, Homeless has been grinding away in the underground, making a name for himself battle by battle, track after track, show after show and killing it every time.
I knew Homeless back when he was getting started with the Slam Poetry scene and quickly standing out in a crowd of verbose and dynamic kids. When he combined his powers, Voltron-style, with Just Riley they started playing shows under the name Mnemosyne. Having seen them grow from the smallest venues as openers to seeing them become headliners it's been a blast to have seen the growth first hand. Naturally I was thrilled to learn the duo would be releasing their own mixtapes, Just Riley's Kids Eat Free and Patience Makes Lighter from Homeless. The way these two play off each other's style is nothing short of perfect, their voices and inflections filling the gaps and hitting the pockets they leave with a deft delivery. 
Countless videos have been documenting the process Homeless is taking with his craft, whether its shutting down his peers in Grindtimenow battles, dropping new verse after new verse over whatever he can or even taking one-trick-pony Asher Roth down a peg. To watch Homeless in action is a strange thing - he's a man with ideas and lines that are so grand in design they almost seem to escape him, only for the mc to wrap it up in a finish so harsh and well constructed you think back to how he got there and you marvel to yourself. His passion and venom for the perils of society keep him on the brink of teetering out of control, yet he never loses his cool and always speaks from the heart. Take the response to Asher Roth - Homeless was frustrated with the vapidity and mental indifference of the one-hit wonder. The track he released about it speaks volumes for his devotion to hip hop and how seriously he takes every opportunity. The battles he takes part in almost feel like they're too one-sided as he picks apart his competitors piece by piece. 
This is not to say he's your typical angry-at-the-world, thinking man's rapper. There's a positive air and optimism you rarely find in his line of work. Take for example his video, directed by Drew Carlson, for the Man Manits-produced 'Rest In Peace'. It has the old-time sunshine of Motown hits combined with Homeless' insightful, introspective rapping. How many rappers do you know that can start off a hook with the words "Pardon me..." and still feel like they're speaking a raw, honest truth? There's a line in the track that speaks volumes about his style and mindset - "The line between a sigh and a deep breath is patience". It not only reminds me of times I've lost my cool, but adds another layer to the title of his mixtape. The patience can make us lighter if we want our to ease our burdens.

I can't say enough good things about Homeless and his endearingly weary optimism. Check out his twitter feed for the occasional burst of encouragement or a reminder not to be hollow. Stay tuned for my first ever Q&A with Homeless, which will be posted tomorrow. You check out his vids and listen to Patience Makes Lighter and come back tomorrow - get to know the rapper in depth.