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A spanish magazine interviews Sage and Joe. 11/14/03
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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A spanish magazine interviews Sage and Joe. 11/14/03  Reply with quote  

Non Prophets interview. (By godjoc)

HHF: Hi Guys. First of all, thanks for your time…

Joe Beats: Nah man, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.

HHF: New album, out on Lex, Tell Us, when did you start the recording and how it was?

Sage: We started recording in 2001. It was a task to find the personality of this album at first but it all exploded into place toward the end.

HHF: The sound of the album is very classy though you are under “Lex Records”. Some people associates Lex with electronic music. Do you like albums like Boom Bip’s, do you feel him as Hip Hop?

Joe: Of course I like Boom Bip’s music. I’m yet to meet him. But is he hip hop? Hmmmmmmmmm. After a long pause of silence in anticipation is the opening of the envelope: Here goes. I’m breaking the seal. Let’s see what we have here. Is Boom Bip Hip Hop? Yes! In my humble opinion, Boom Bip is Hip Hop! HOORAY!! You did it BOOM BIP! You’re hip hop now as donned by me, JOEY BEATS! So let me ask everyone out there in LaLa land, how does it feel to have Boom Bip inducted into the Hip Hop genre? Do you like it? Do you agree? Vote now on your AT&T wireless cell phone! To my right, Sage, what do you think? Should Boom Bip be allowed to call himself Hip Hop? I need your word big brother. Only then will it be official, official.

Sage: Externally, Boom Bip says that he doesn’t consider himself hiphop. However, I find his production to be VERY hiphop-based, so I believe he knows his insides are hiphop. Heh. I like his work a lot. He looks like he is going to live to be very old.

HHF: Why “Hope”?

Beats: It was supposed to be called “Dope”. But Sage told me it wasn’t such a good idea to beat someone over the head with such a title; they would have to figure it out for themselves. I said to myself, “WHOA! What a concept!” After meeting on the subject for weeks, we then came up with the idea of replacing the D with an H and “Hopes” people would get that it was “Dopes”. When we finally came to that conclusion, we immediately jumped into our signature hi five. After that we sat silent, finishing our chai at the coffeehouse, watching the snow fall, in satisfaction at how damn clever we were. Take that world!

Sage: mmm.

HHF: Uhhmm (Thinking: “Liar”) There are rumours that Mobb Deep will do a joint with Nelly, I’m sure that you are (or were) fans of Prodigy & Havoc. What do you think about that?

Joey: Good for them. That’s a big step up the ladder for Prodigy. He’ll be exposed to a whole new audience. He’s been consistent since he’s started; he’s more than deserving for a push like that. I ain’t mad at ‘em. Am I supposed to be? I’ve learned we all have our weaknesses. Prodigy’s weakness might be he wants to retire his mother and buy her a nice house. Shoot me along with Prodigy because I have the same weakness. That, along with brown eyed shorties packing heat.

Sage: I seriously have no opinion on that whatsoever. That’s like asking me what I think about my buddy in 5th grade getting a promotion in his McDonalds job.

HHF: To be honest… I don’t give a fuck if Mobb Deep do a collabo with Nelly but people loves to talk about that. Anyway… you have a song called “Mainstream 307”. What’s your problem with the mainstream?

Jojo: Payola. Cheap publicity. People believing whatever they are sold, I mean, told.

Sage: malls.

HHF: We are celebrating the fifth anniversary of hiphopflash this month…. Where were Non Prophets five years ago? How did you meet each other?

Joe: Five years ago I was just starting to make beats. In fact, five years ago this month is when I first made the beat for Bounce. We were both attending the University of Rhode Island; in, on, and around the radio station -WRIU- a lot. In fact, that’s where we met. I heard him rapping on the Friday slot with Mig and Stress. I couldn’t believe there was an emcee from my state doing the exact thing I wanted to hear in Hip Hop, taking it in the very direction I wanted it to go. A few weeks later, I saw another emcee friend of mine who told me he wanted to battle Sage for the name. At the time I guest hosted one of the other slots and I called out Sage Francis over the airwaves. He came storming in the studio, ripped off his shirt to expose his Sage tattoo -hah. It was GREAT! I laugh because to think at the time the whole tattoo thing actually made me think “Whoa! Fuck skills, he’s got the tat. This guy wins by default. He’s Sage!” I wish things in life were that simple. And they aren’t because it only got worse as Sage, needless to say, proved he was the one deserving of the moniker when he hit the mic. In respect to the other cat, who I’m still kinda cool with, I’ll just politely say it was one sided. Whenever I run into the guy, considering all that Sage and I have done together, it’s still a little awkward. Anyway, this was back in 1997, about a year before I even started doing beats. A few days later we spotted one another in Math class. It was bugged because we were already about a month and a half into the semester and never noticed or talked to each other. I remember hanging out after that and just really hitting it off. We just got a big kick out of each other because we were so different in personality but shared a similar love for the music. Looking back on it now, eventually making music was inevitable if our friendship was to continue.

Sage: that’s pretty much how it went down. I was still working with a band but nothing was coming of that except for live shows. The College Radio show was huge for me at this point. It was a great outlet and it let me work out a lot of kinks in my dealings with the public. And it gave Joe Beats and I a great place to start everything that we have no become.

HHF: Real nice. Beautiful love story… Shit, I didn’t see the tattoo at Sonar in Barcelona.

-These are to Joey. Nowadays everybody knows Sage since Personal Journals, but, for many people this is the first contact with your music… ¿are you receiving calls from MCs asking for your beats or production taxes?

joe: No, not really. If I do it’s from cats who haven’t released anything yet. Not to dis but I’m through giving heads who haven’t proved themselves elsewhere chances. This business is so much more than just being good and/or able to perform. If I get a demo from someone, yes they might be dope but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. There are a slew of other things that need to be carried out on a daily basis then just practicing your craft -especially if you really want to succeed. I donated my time and energy to cats simply on the good faith they had potential and it ended up setting me back. That’s what Reverse Discourse is: it’s an instrumental blend of beats I made for unknowns that never got written to, recorded on, or released. Here Sage is in San Fran making Personal Journals - a classic album. I’m back east trying to help heads; not very smart -especially when I’m trying to match/mirror his efforts on my own end. I haven’t even established myself yet, let alone trick myself into thinking having my name involved in a project is going to push it over the edge. Even if that were the case, I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s introduction. It gets deeper because a lot of these emcees would complain this or that cat getting exposure was wack; always pointing the finger. Yes, maybe they were but what the hell did you think they were doing to get whatever attention it was they were getting? Why the hell are they on stage performing to a crowd of a couple thousand and you’re on the sidelines? Who’s fault is it that someone you deam of lesser skill or quality has more props than you? I wish it was a who’s nicer on the mic or sampler contest but it’s not. Even if that were the case, as shown above, Sage would still take priority. I want to work with others (already established) but I really don’t see much happening. Neither one of us wants to approach the other, it’s this really wack male ego thing. Either that or we’re just moving in different directions. I’m just waiting for signals and I’ll move from there.

HHF: Have you started “smelling money”? I Hope that when you become rich and famous you keep talking to us …

Joe: Don’t worry, I won’t be rich or famous. I’ll probably be begging you for an interview this time next year. In order to be rich and famous, you have to make your message/product particularly -if not solely -accessible to females and adolescents. My group of friends from back in the day now live within me. They keep holding me back from doing such things. They yell “KEEP IT REAL! KEEP IT RAW!” and taunt me with “oooooooohhhhh!” anytime I’m slighted. Either that or I can’t exercise such action just because I know it will help me achieve both ends. There used to be a name for that back in the day but it’s escaping me at the moment. Either that or I’m finding out how wrong the former title is; it really means don’t leave us GRUNTS! I still can’t figure it out. Maybe I’m just an idiot -haha.

HHF: Right, I’ll remember it to you in the future… And your answer will be “Sorry man, I’m making beats to Jay Z’s come back”

JB: I wish.

HHF: Pete Rock, Primo or Beatminerz?

joe: Pete. I say it every interview: Pete Rock is my favourite producer. I could on and on about Pete Rock. I’ll stop for all of those who know me and are rolling their eyes right now -haha.

HHF: Tough you hint that my questions are typical… Pete is great…Did you get this Deda’s album yet? I’m really excited about it… My order did not arrived yet.

HHF: Jel, EL-P or Madlib?

Joe: Apples and oranges to all. And though they are all obviously great, if I had my choice, I’d probably roll with Madlib. It’s just most everything he makes is what I want to hear at the time. That, and he changes his hair a lot.

-These are to Sage. What do you think about this term that some people used to define your style; “emo-hop”?

Sage: That’s too confining of a label for me. It does not properly encompass what I do. Although, I appreciate that people have recognized that my art actually is emotional. I am a passionate person.

HHF: You’ve signed with Epitaph… Will your next album be or have some punk rock music?

Sage: I have signed to Epitaph. My music is punk enough as it is. I don’t know how I could possibly incorporate punk music and still do what I do.


HHF: Your are white, American, from medium class, Why are you into this Hip Hop shit?

Sage: Am I from medium class? Heh. Not that it matters at all, but medium class is usually considered rich. From my perspective at least. And that’s not me. Both of my parents worked for the state and made my listen to hiphop records growing up.

HHF: Bad Brains, Minor Threat or Circle Jerks?

Sage: Mmmmm. Jesus, tough choice. I have to say Minor Threat even though I could probably sing more Bad Brains songs. And my cousin was Circle Jerk’s roadie.

HHF: Well, guys it’s over. Your album it’s hot, congratulations. Let’s convince people to get it…

Joe: Go out and cop the non-prophets album, Hope. You won’t like it at first. Listen to it over and over again until you acquire a taste for it. Then try to incorporate it into a lot of positive, happy, wonderful experiences in your life; a date, a nice day, a raise, etc. That way whenever you see or hear the name Non-prophets, our music, or anything associated with our music, you’ll feel good by Pavlov’s idea of ringing the bell.
Post Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:01 am
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