Imagine, for a moment, you were alive in the late 1700s, and witnessed the debut of a piano concerto, performed by its composer, a then-unknown Ludwig Von Beethoven. What would your reaction be? One can only assume awe and pride, the feeling prized amongst music lovers, knowing that you’ve stumbled upon a wonderful secret that you’re excited to share with the world. This is how I felt when I first heard Sad Andy’s “I Hate Myself,” but instead of politely sipping brandy in some salon in Vienna, I was bored on the G train in Brooklyn. My first reaction to the song was, “What the fuck? This dude is just yelping and he sounds like a weird stoner alien.” But then I listened again, which is usually a good sign, and by the time I replayed the song a third time, I was completely hooked.
As soon as I got home, I devoured his discography, which ended up not taking too long because the dude had only released three songs at the time. But within his limited range—basically screaming really swaggy nonsense over his dude Nanosaur’s post-Based beats—a sense of pure creativity and artistry bubbled through, thick and pungent, like smoke being filtered through dirty bong water. Sad Andy is a Sad Rapper, almost the high-energy AutoTuned complement to the more subdued OG sadboys Yung Lean and Little Pain.
I became convinced that Sad Andy was the future of not just all music, but all culture, and perhaps life as we know it. I had to know what his deal was, so I called him up and asked him precisely that. It turns out Sad Andy lives on a couch in Oakland, works at American Apparel by day, hype-mans for Noisey favorite Antwon by night, and unsuccessfully tried to go by “Rich Mane” when he started rapping. We’re psyched to premiere his newest (and fourth) song “Fame,” featuring Andre Martel, produced by Nanosaur, and mastered by Different Fur, below. Listen to it, and you’ll see exactly why if humanity is going to reach actualization, we all need to listen to Sad Andy as much as possible.
Noisey: What’s up, Sad Andy!
Sad Andy: I'm just at work, about to go to lunch right now.
What’s your deal?
About rap? (laughs).
I've been rapping for like three months now. And it kind of started kind of as a joke, basically out of boredom and then it got sent around on the emails. And then, just because I hang out with like musicians and stuff, it got like a bunch of plays. And then I made "I Hate Myself" and then that got a bunch of plays too, and then I was just like, I'm in too deep, so I just started making songs. And then people started hitting me up and then I was like, okay. And then, yeah.
How did you arrive on your sound?
I'm a big fan of all like the drill stuff in Chicago, and then Yung Thug and Rich Homie Quan and Future. And so I was basically—I wouldn't say copying them, but I was definitely paying homage to all those dudes. I think on the newer stuff I rap a little different. I'm still singing AutoTune but like you know, like, 'cause everything I've else I've done, like "Ferragamo" and "I Hate Myself," that was all like me just freestyling. I just mumbled some words. That's why a lot of it doesn't make sense. And now I'm taking it a little more seriously. Not too seriously, but I'm like actually trying to make sense when I rap now.
What is your job?
I work at American Apparel in Berkley, California.
Do your coworkers know you rap?
No. A couple of my friends that work here do, but like I just try to keep it like on the low. Like sometimes they'll be like playing a playlist and like my song's on there and I'll hear it from like a distance and be like, "Nooo!" (Laughs) I’ll make them turn it down. (Laughs) But now I don't care. I don't know. It's just me being like weird about the whole thing.
You’re boys with Antwon. And you perform with him, right?
Antwon doesn’t use backing tracks when he performs anymore so he was like, “Hey, you should be my hype man because you know all the words to my songs.” And then like I was just up there doing it. It was good, and then at one show all of the sudden I just heard "Ferragamo" come on, and I was like, “Oh, shit. I’ve never performed in my life.” I'd never even went up in front of a class and given a speech. So, I had to go up there and rap for three minutes in front of a couple thousand people.
It was nerve‑wracking. I was gonna throw up before and after.
Do you feel like a rapper now?
I said I was a rapper once just because when people see me they don't expect me to be a rapper. So this guy was like, “What do you do?" And I was like, "I'm a rapper." Just to see like his reaction. And then he was like, "Okay." And he just didn't ask any questions. I was like, alright, that's a little easier to say than just like, "Oh, I work in Berkley." I don't know. Yeah, probably gotta keep that to myself a little bit.
Do your parents know that you made these songs?
Yeah. I told them. And they were like, "Oh, that's cool." They were like, "Can I hear it?" And I said, "No." They know how to use Google, though, so they'll just type in "Sad Andy" one day.
How did you get the name “Sad Andy?”
I was 17 and I was at a bar. When I just got my first fake ID, I’d hang out with everyone older than me, so everyone was like having a great time at this bar and I was hella nervous and sitting in the corner. And my friend, Nicky was like, “You’re Sad Andy,” and then I hated it, but they all called me it. And I was like, "Fuck it, Sad Andy’s my name." And then I started rapping.
I tried to go with Rich Mane. In the beginning of "Ferragamo" I'm like, Rich Mane!” And then I put it out and then everyone's like, "Uh, this is Sad Andy talking."
Where do you live? Oakland?
No, I just sleep on a couch there. I have my job in Berkley and I was gonna get a spot there, but now I’m just waiting because I’m going to go on tour with Antwon.
Drew Millard will shed a tear for you if you follow him on Twitter - @drewmillard