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Interview with the Charlotte Observer 1/28/03
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Interview with the Charlotte Observer 1/28/03  Reply with quote  

"I omitted the first 3 questions because they were very, very off."

4. The politics on the album are refreshing, yet subtle (like mentions of Michael Moore and Nike and Matthew Shepherd just creep in there), when and where did your ideas about mainstream media, social issues, big corporations, and politics begin to form? How did your journalism studies and experience as an artist dealing with the media and the music industry color your opinions?

"My ideas about all these things became more solid when I was able to realize how these things affect my surroundings. I was at an early age when I felt the urge to rebel against them, but it wasn't until my early twenties when I was able to pinpoint my disatisfaction and target who I believe to be the culprits of society. They negatively affect the quality of our life by making money the number one priority instead of our physical and mental well being. Studying journalism in college didn't do much for my growth as a journalist, but it showed me some avenues I can travel in order to tap into the public and it showed me the ethics that are SUPPOSED to be used in journalism."


5. Can you compare "hope" to "Personal Journals," how did you approach the album differently? How did it differ working as a duo on this record?

"I approached them both in similar ways, with a different frame of mind. I spent about the same amount of time on both. I needed to make sure the feel was consistent throughout the album. From scene to scene, I wanted the whole movie to be on the same plain. Obviously Personal Journals was more testimonial and HOPE had more of a conventional hiphop approach, but both were created in much the same way. It was a mix of spontaneity and looooooooong writing sessions. The main difference between Personal Journals and HOPE is that I only worked with one producer on HOPE so my feel kind of depended on one person's beats rather then picking from a bunch of other producer's crops. That's what made it a duo, because Joe Beats determined where I would be going as far as mood and feel are concerned.


6. You also mention G.G. Allin, Fugazi and Minor Threat on the tracks, do you have a punk background as well? I read that you and Joe are straight-edge, which is common among punks around here, is it a rarity in the rap world? Is that something you've done since you were a teenager?

"I have a bit of a punk background. It was more of a hardcore background, but I do enjoy punk rock more. That bio of Joe and I was written in 98 or 99. It was tongue in cheek, but mainly true. At this point, no. Heh. Yes, being straight edge is a rarity in hiphop but not as much as it used to be. When you grow up in a society filled with drunks and drug users there is bound to be a backlash."


7. What are your thoughts on mainstream rap? The album is great, but on the non-prophets website you say the mainstream would never accept you. Why do you think that is when they can accept messages about homophobia and violence regularly? Do you think your work is over the heads of the general public or is it too controversial for radio?

"My music is more challenging than the stuff that the general public is used to. It does not work in mainstream mentality, because...it is not background music. Currently, most people are settling for fast food music. It is enough to hold them over until the next catchy jingle. And they wonder why music was so much better in the 60's. My music is urgent and and it takes a little bit of thought for the listener to assess what the hell is going on. Quite honestly, that does not work for the radio because if people don't 'get it' on the first listen you are not going to tap into pop culture well. This is all so fucking simple though. Did I really have to make sense of that to anybody. There's no need for someone like me to explain this. I might as well stick a pitchfork in my catalogue for fuck's sake."

8. Has college radio been supportive?

"Only in certain regions. Colorado in particular. But I have flown under the radar of college radio djs for quite sometime. And quite honestly, since the virtual demise of 12" culture, college radio has not played nearly as important of a role as internet stations and free music trade programs. And this is coming from someone who greatly benefitted from participating in college radio for many years. I still think college radio plays more of an important role than the internet because it is able to reach people without computers. And surprisingly, in 2004, a lot of people still don't have computers."

9. Tell me about the Fuck Clear Channel Tour. Will you be talking about the Clear Channel monopoly or handing out literature or anything during or after the shows?

"There's no need for me to beat this over anyone's head, but I will say my piece. I have a power point presentation almost ready to go. The main thing is that I called this tour Fuck Clear Channel, which has already sent a lot of people into a researching frenzy. 'Wha?? Huh?? What is CLEAR CHANNEL? Oh my GOD...so...that's why I hear the same shitty songs over and over on the radio and see the group's image everywhere I turn???' It is raising awareness, and not just in my fanbase but in every group of people who sees the flyers and newspapers where this tour will be advertised. Using poison against poison."

10. Are there any mainstream artists that meet the level of integrity you'd like to maintain in your career? Do you think it's possible to maintain your ideals as a major label artist?

"Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Currently, Ani Difranco and Fugazi. But in this day and age the major labels make it nearly impossible for their artists to have enough say in what they do or how they are presented in order for them to have the slightest bit of integrity. It's a new game. One that I continue to by-pass in order to achieve what people believe only comes with mainstream success."

11. How difficult is it to be an independent artist in the rap world? I imagine in the '80s and early '90s it would have been harder to be heard, has the internet made it easier?

"It is a grind. It is a hustle that one should accept with open arms, because anything that comes with ease will go with ease. I love and enjoy the house that I have built for myself. The internet is a vital tool in someone exceeding as an indie artist, absolutely."
Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:13 pm
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MYOWNCLICHE



Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 3886
Location: In side YOUR head
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I haven't seen the interview in the paper yet. Looking forward to your show in Charlotte.
Post Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:49 pm
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Mikal kHill



Joined: 29 Jun 2002
Posts: 6852
Location: http://mikalkhill.com
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When is this running?
Post Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:28 pm
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myklee



Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 14
Re: Interview with the Charlotte Observer 1/28/03  Reply with quote  


Quote:

Using poison against poison."




A quote from "Iron Monkey"? If you like kung fu movies, you should check this one out, the one from 1993. Peace.
Post Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:21 pm
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