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Sofa Magazine interview. 9/11/02
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Sofa Magazine interview. 9/11/02  Reply with quote  

"So do you want to make this a boring interview where I have to sit still
with my hands clasped or can I have fun and be creative?" Well, I'd answer:
have fun with my questions: some may sound weird, some are more serious.
In fact, "Sofa" is a quite a generalist magazine which tries to focus on
every kind of subject from mainstream ones to underground ones, from cinema
to literature. We try to do the less boring articles so that people who are
not into a specific kind of culture can read the articles and discover the
artists we like.
So, this is not either one of those "you're so awesome, tell me how you do
it" interviews, it's more a "who you are interview".
The more you answer, the better I will feel, be sure of that.
Thanks for your time and congratulations for your album.

The interview.

What does look like your sentimental life? Are you still "asexual"?

"hahaa...this is a foreign magazine. Tight. My sentimental life is hard to look at. As far as being asexual, that might be what I need. I could truly benefit as a rational and intelligent being if I weren't plagued with a cock shaped like an anchor."

Have your plans with Nathalie Portman _ this mainstream beauty_ changed?
Do you plan to do something with her and Love Hewitt + Joe Beats? Have you
ever written lines about/for her?

"I would never cheapen my feelings for her by using my silly words. She definitely needs to go back to being 14 though. I'm not sure what Joe's status is with JLH right now, but from what his production has been like lately, he seems to have big plans."

You write a song about Andy Kaufman : like him, do you wanna fake your own
death? You indeed said once "'Personal Journals' is the album I needed to
make before I was taken off this planet. That's why my death date is 2001"
And. do you think he existed? (I do but. I don't)

"Do I think Andy Kaufman existed? MMMmm...that's a tough one. My faith tells me yes. Yes, I think Andy Kaufman existed. But the important thing is the message in his teachings...and the concept of him as an entity. I believe in that magic."

Concerning the production, you're talking of "perfect moods" for "Personal
Journals": To what extent did you intervene with the instrumental part (
beats/ instruments/ samples/ etc.) used on your lyrics? I mean : is it all
the producer work or did you write some part of the music? Isn't it hard to
be such dependent of the production for your songs ( you said once that you'd never been happy with the production that had been done for you until
this album)

"I never said I wasn't happy with the production until this album. I don't usually work with production unless I dig it. With this album I had MANY producers submit material for me to work with and I am grateful that they supplied me with such great music. What I did was I let them know the theme of the album and a lot of them offered me a few beats to choose from. I picked the ones that matched the mood I was going for and then i wrote most of the songs out to their sequence. I gave my input every so often, but I don't like to step on a producer's toes. Jel was the only one who really built his beat behind my lyrics, and that was for Climb Trees."

Why have you waited 35 to make your real first solo record ? ( if you're
really 35 'cause you look younger, yeah, absolutely)What were the obstacles
you faced ?

"I never waited. I've been making music since a little kid. It just took a long time to find the right people to work with. Then it took a while to spread my music. It also took a while for everyone to catch on. The ball has started rolling and I am right on schedule. I started young and I'm not an old man yet. I just like to present that image for the sake of my future. "

"Most Mcs are very lacking in skills and originality" what do you exactly
mean by that? What are the main flaws of the famous rappers we see on MTV?

"Their motive, content, integrity, style, social value, message, and sense of responsibility. They sure look good though. And boy can they dance."

You seem to be very pessimistic about the US hip-hop.

"Well, it's better than hiphop coming from anywhere else. What does that say? haha."

Eminem: when you're a new white rapper the comparison seems to be
necessary: is it frustrating? We often read: "He's the new Eminem", do you
agree with that?

"The majority of people have to say things like that, because he's a reference point in regards to color. And the Good White Lord knows that people love categorizing things by color."

When you first rapped, you were very young, but used to hide yourself from
your mum: why? What would have been her reaction if she had seen you? ( and
maybe she had)

"My mum started playing rhyme games with me when I was 3. We would always rhyme words back and forth. She makes sure I remember this every so often, in order to give her credit for my rhyming abilities. She also bought me my first rap tapes, which was great...but her support for my love of hiphop didn't continue for too long. If I ever misbehaved or did poorly in school she would blame it on the rap. And there was one time she threatened to take away my rap tapes. hahaaa. Ever since then I kept it all to myself. No one can take away your secrets."

Do you try to avoid hip-hop cliches? ( you said, you will not do another
song about hip-hop)? How do you avoid them and which are they?

"Everyone should be aware of the cliches and do their best to avoid them. Because a cliche doesn't start off being a cliche. We turn some very poignant and meaningful statements into cliches by abusing the idea or phrase until it holds no value. The reason we do this is because it's easy to travel down the same path someone has already layed out for us. And we love to do what is easy. It's our responsibility to think beyond what is easy and to challenge ourselves with meaningful and HONEST material despite how difficult it is. But not everything has to be so ground breaking. I'll still write songs about bruising your melon."

What do you want to bring/add to hip-hop or music in general?

"I am just adding myself, which is all anyone can do. My thoughts, ideas, concepts, approach. When the time is right, I like to use it as a vehicle for a greater purpose...and these greater purposes are bigger than hiphop. It's a vehicle. Just like anything else that gives people the power."

Reading poetry in universities sounds a very serious job but what is the
weirdest thing you've made on stage? Is there two Sage Francis? You compared
yourself to a "bi-polar bear".

"What's the weirdest thing I've made on stage? Shit...i could give some very honest and appauling answers, but I won't. I don't care to incriminate myself at this moment. Lets just say it involved nakedness and puke. And as for the bi-polar thing, I have stayed away from doctors and medical treatment for many years...but in my unprofessional opinion, Sage Francis is the collaboration of a few personality disorders."

Mullet: could you explain us what do you mean by this word and this song
because it seems that the mullets tend to disappear here in France.

"Mullet of the mind, baby. Speaking of cliches. hahaa. I can't help but feel excited when I see one. It's a fetish."

Do you still perform in places without backstage?

"Fuck yes. Those are some of the best places to perform. Shit, I did a show in a laundromat once in Iowa. That was horrible though."

As Marilyn Manson, you play the role of the Anti-Christ, never been
threatened by parental lobbies? What about this song?

"I have been threated by hotel lobbies. But not because of my music. Anti-Christians are living in the same glass house as Pro-Christians...while I'm throwing rocks at it."

One year after, how do you consider "Makeshift Patriot" your song about
the 11th September events? Is it still relevant? Why? Could you describe how
you make this song?

"That song was most relevant upon its immediate release, because that was a crazy and confusing time. My song was meant to offer some perspective that wasn't being offered anywhere else. At this point, many people and publications are starting to come around and question what the hell was being fed to us by the government and media, but as far as I'm concerned it's too little too late. The song and the message is by no means irrelevant, but it's time to build upon it. I wrote, recorded, and released Makeshift Patriot one month after 9/11. It consists of actual news quotes, and some audio of the crowd cheering on rescue workers that I recorded when I was at ground zero on 9/16."

What is your idea of "progression and success"? I mean, would you stay
"underground" at any cost?

"I don't intentionally STAY underground. But I won't sign to a major label unless that major label is all about me doing what i want to artistically. I can't believe other people sacrifice this freedom. Judging by the music being put out on major labels nowadays, there is not a single major label I'd be willing to have make money off of me and my hard work."

Me: WOW!!! You seem very aggressive with "business men" from big labels.

"I am firm and direct with anyone who wants to talk business. It's not a playground, and I prefer to not waste any of my life bullshitting with people who MIGHT want to do what is right for me, while being motivated by money. There is certainly money to be made in what I do, but I am annoyed by people who can't be direct."

Is it true that when you entered the hip-hop scene, you were against drugs
and now the DEA knows you very well?

"Hahahaaaa...yes. But the reason the DEA knows me very well is because they are convinced I'm a drug smuggler due to the amount of traveling I do and the amount of money I make. They are VERY annoyed that they can't link me to any drug activity."

I think we share the same view about Fred Durst and his cap, no?

"I would like to knock it off of his head with a blow torch."

Could you explain us briefly how you made the difference between poetry,
slam and spoken words?

"Slams consist of spoken word performances. Spoken word consists of poetry. I don't make much of a distinction between any of those things. I usually just get up on stage and perform a song a capella."

What have changed in your "private" and "professional" life, the poetry
slams contests and the battles you won (Scribble Jam, Super Bowl, maybe many
others) ? . And the ESPN broadcast?

"My life has definitely changed. No more odd jobs. I live by myself. People know me in all these random spots I go to. Girls talk to me. People use me as a reference point. I still dig my anonymity for the most part, so being a man of many faces helps."

What about Scribble jam this summer ? Did you win or you were part of the
jury? Could you describe this kind of conventional but also underground
hip-hop event?

"I was one of the judges this year. Scribble Jam happens in the beginning of August every year. It is 3 days long and it consists of a lot of graffiti, a breaking battle, a DJ battles, and an MC battle. It has gotten huge over the years. It could certainly use some better competition, but I think the people with bigger names are scared away from entering a battle that allows the world to judge you and tear you down."

Do you really avoid battles with friends of yours because it could turn
out to be sad for both of you? Can you compare a rap battle and a real

"I battle friends. I think it's really lame for a 'friend' to take an opportunity to tear down another friend in order to get props from a crowd though. That tends to happen sometimes. If I battle a friend it I prefer it to be in a playful way. I don't need to big up myself by ridiculing a friend and drawing blood."

Let's say you're fed up with this interview ( but I'm sure you're not!),
just make me shut my mouth ( the best words you used to finish a battle)

"you're a wack, gay, fat, homo, faggot with ugly clothes and I fucked your girl you stupid bitch."

Well, well, ok, thanks a lot for everything, I hope to hear new stuff from
you very soon.

"Thanks Adrien. I hope I offered good enough information. Let me know if you need anything else from me.

Last edited by Sage Francis on Fri Sep 13, 2002 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Sep 11, 2002 6:44 pm
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 2764
Location: Chicopee & Springfield, MA
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that was one sassy interview

Post Wed Sep 11, 2002 6:54 pm
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Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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Got kinda kinky at the end.
Post Wed Sep 11, 2002 8:36 pm
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Joined: 09 Jul 2002
Posts: 782
Location: Iowa
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laundromat in Iowa? where the fuck was I?

I'm from Iowa and I'd have love to seen that shit. Where at in Iowa?
Post Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:59 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5766
Location: Queens, NYC
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This was the first Sage interview where the questions were funnier than the answers.
Post Thu Sep 12, 2002 6:47 am
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Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 1040
Location: The Netherlands
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You're a weird bastard, Sage. But I'm afraid I'm hooked to your way of rhyming and your way of talking to people. Keep on not taking yourself serious and being very serious at the same time!!!
Post Fri Sep 13, 2002 6:01 am
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 3087
Location: Wisconsin
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this maxamillion guy is sweet.
Post Fri Sep 20, 2002 8:21 pm
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Joined: 04 Jul 2002
Posts: 992
Location: exiled in Cackalack!
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that was definitely an interesting interview. I hope more cats who interview you in the future will take note of this.
Post Sat Sep 21, 2002 5:29 pm
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mike fields

Joined: 22 Sep 2002
Posts: 14
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This was the first Sage interview where the questions were funnier than the answers.

hahahaha, this is the first reply that was funnier than both put togather.....hahaah
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:21 am
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kilgore trout

Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Posts: 117
Location: charlottesville VA
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maxamillion wrote:
You're a weird bastard, Sage. But I'm afraid I'm hooked to your way of rhyming and your way of talking to people. Keep on not taking yourself serious and being very serious at the same time!!!

is it just me or does this sound like something you write in someone you don't really likes yearbook at the end of the year?
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 8:16 pm
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mike fields

Joined: 22 Sep 2002
Posts: 14
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yearbooks are dope
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 11:01 pm
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Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 1040
Location: The Netherlands
kilgore trout  Reply with quote  

is it just me or does this sound like something you write in someone you don't really likes yearbook at the end of the year?...........

No I was trying to say something nice, I was trying to say that being weird isn't always bad, especialy (don't mind my grammar!!) in Sage's case!!
Post Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:24 am
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Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Location: Woonsocket, RI
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did you get naked???????
should have
Post Thu Sep 26, 2002 1:01 pm
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