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2 interviews in 1 (message board gets many mentions) 4/21/03
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21574
2 interviews in 1 (message board gets many mentions) 4/21/03  Reply with quote  

This interview was conducted by Brandon for The Beat Reporter in Boston.




hip hop and media...
1. You made one of the first songs to question the united states reaction
to 9/11 with 'makeshift patriot' and you've released a few other tracks
voicing yr frustration with the patriotic reaction from both the media and
the general populous...did yr songs receive any media attention? How would you categorize the attention, was it negative or positive?

For the most part, Makeshift Patriot was critically acclaimed. It didn't receive a hell of a lot of media attention, but the independent magazines and websites who reviewed it said many nice things. Mainstream news sources will finally be privy to this song now that it has been placed on Epitaph's next Punkorama compilation CD. So far the attention it has received has been ultra-positive. A year and half later...I am interested in seeing how the message will be received.


2. do you think that the media is unfairly representing the pro war stance
from their coverage of pro war songs (ie Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red,
White, and Blue (the Angry American)" and Clint Black "Iraq and Roll")?

Of course. They LOVE that angle. It fits right into their agenda. What more can I say? It seems terribly obvious.

3. even when the media devotes time to anti war arts, the focus seems to be
on lenny kravitz and other artists like him, why do yr songs and other music
from hip hop artists (lif, maclethal, dead prez) fail to get air time?

Lenny Kravitz is so safe. He is SO safe. He also has no spark of angst or revolution in him. He might be good at throwing up a John Lennon-style peace sign, but it's for the retro value. The media can breathe easy around his incense infested palace. That's what I think. The other artists don't really get MAJOR media coverage because no one knows who the hell they are. Underground artists aren't bigger than life like major label acts are. We eat, shit, sleep and operate within the community of people who are affected by our leader's poor decisions. Who wants to hear from a normal person like that?



4. in general, is the media doing their job representing both sides of the
issue of war? where do you think the media could better its coverage of war
in iraq?

The media has done a good job in making America feel compelled to route on our troops. Because...the troops consist of people who were plucked out of our high schools when they didn't have enough money to go to college. Therefor, that forces the mentality that anyone who opposes this war is anti-American. They really play that angle a lot. They humanize the war ONLY on OUR side. What the media might want to do is get their CEO's hand out of their ass and report objectively. Don't make a cartoon or video game out of the situation. They could show the devastation that a country is now going through rather than focusing on a bunch of looting without giving much of an explanation. "Look at these monkeys! They can't even HANDLE freedom!!! HAHAHAA"
Fuck, man. We INVADED their country. We killed their civilians and continue to impose psychological damage on a whole nation. They have no set government, no electricity, no running water, no promise for the future, and we have the nerve to point at the looters like they're crazy? Drop some bombs on LA, remove the police and see what happens. I just wish the major media networks would stop slanting ALL of their coverage in a direction that fits Bush's agenda. Some reporters have actually done their JOB and are no in the unemployment line. I commend them.


5. do you think yr stance as an artist who outwardly questions the actions
of the government effects yr radio play?

No. Because I never went for radio play. I never considered it a possibility. My music is not GEARED for the radio and it would not make sense within the commercial format. Perhaps you'll hear me on Hot97 someday, but definitely not now. However, their ARE commercial artists who probably have seen a decrease in their radio airplay by showing public disapproval of the war.


6. What media outlets are doing the best job of covering the war, in
general, as well as the arts in response to the war? Which ones are doing
the worst?

I really can't say which media outlets are doing the best. I must refer to my media assassin Rob. Robert says:
I definitely think guardian unlimited in the UK is doing a pretty good job.
and, of course, al-jazeera, the Qatar non-government affiliated news agency. It sucks trying to read their English website often because Zionist hackers shut them down a couple times. I mostly get my news off infoshop.org and the google news page.


7. Can you see a correlation to the protest songs of the Vietnam era to the
music that you and yr hip hop contemporaries are making now...explain.

Not really. We seem to be much more pissed and aggressive. It's not like "There's something happening here" anymore. It's more like, "LOOK WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING...AGAIN! WAKE UP, SHIT HEADS."
We lack the unification that they had in the 60's and 70's as far as the protest movement goes. It's a totally different climate which makes it difficult for us to recognize what is and isn't working. Over all...it's not working. The plans that are now in effect have been in the works for at least a decade. They aren't trying to see Sage McGraw and his drum circle friends shake their fists.


8. when you write a song like 'makeshift patriot' there is an obvious
message there, where does the intent lay? in getting yr opinion out? making
a dope song? what element is the most important to you?

Well that's the trick in any art form. How do you make a point in an interesting way? I make songs for a living, so that's the platform I worked from. It's not enough to say what you if your work is crap. That's like writing out "War is so stupid" on a canvas and calling yourself a painter. You may be communicating a truth, but it's not done in an intriguing way. Nor is that what painting is about. Respect the art form you are using as a vehicle to voice your message. Some people try to rap just because they have a whole bunch to say...but they don't RAP. They say a whole bunch of shit over a beat. Congratulations...you THINK about STUFF. How about you stop releasing rough drafts and formulate a well thought-out song for once? With structure. Call me old school.



And now part two...hip hop message boards
1. How long have you participated in the non-prophets message board?

I believe it went up in 1998. The activity on that board didn't pick up until 2000 maybe.

2. What advantages are there in communicating with fans directly on message
boards? Disadvantages?

You get to inform a bunch of people at once rather than answering individual emails all about the same thing. It saves time and makes as many people privy to info about me as possible. Immediate feedback is helpful for me sometimes. Interacting with the community on the forum is also nice. The fans that I attract often have some very informative and worthwhile opinions on world matters. I like to know where their heads are at. Quality control is important, so my presence is frequent. It's easy to see when someone is on the message board just to abuse it. They get thrown into the trash. The only disadvantage I can think of is the idea that an artist who has the time to interact with his fans is lowly. haha. I'm often told that an artist of my stature shouldn't maintain constant interactions with my fans via a message board, but when I get a chance to check out what people are saying I do. Will that last forever? No.


3. Are message boards an effective tool for promotion and advertising?

Of course. But they aren''t extremely effective, but they shouldn't be ignored by independent artists. They are to be utilized. Inform people on what's happening with you. You are not ABOVE Internet promotion, buddy. And please take your ugly mug shot off of my telephone pole.

4. would you like to see hip hop message boards used for more than just
conversation on hip hop?

Message boards are peanut galleries filled with weirdos scattered across the globe. What else are they going to be used for other than conversation? You have a bunch of anonymous users instigating each other. You really can't expect much from it. And to be quite honest, the opinions you get from the general message board is not a fair representation of most people. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when you use one.

5. what are the best/worst hip hop message boards?

Man, they change. I don't frequent hiphop message boards because they don't offer much useful information. Every now and then I check out www.hiphopinfinity.com and www.ughh.com just to see who is getting jocked/dissed. The WORST message board is probably on some Christian hiphop site. I checked one out once and almost shit my pants.

6. how many 'hits' do you have on the non-prophets page a day?

Shit. Too may to handle at this point. My server keeps shutting me down because we go over our limit...and I pay a pretty penny. I definitely feel jerked by my hosting company. I wish their was a way to storm their offices and steal a bunch of bandwidth for all the shit they put me through. I just tried to check our status on hits and discovered that I am computer illiterate. I need to figure this HTML shit out already. Not that that has anything to do with what we're talking about...I'm just saying.

7. how much of the conversation on message boards is productive (feel free
to define productive however you'd like)?

They are productive when you have people treating each other and the subject matter with respect. What's good about a well-run message board is you get people from all over the globe with unique perspectives educating each other. Every gender, age, race, nationality, religion. It leads to some very interesting discussions. You can be given a perspective that you wouldn't have had the opportunity to hear anywhere else. I feel that is productive.

8. what effects have you seen from yr involvement with message boards?
either through record sales, or people's opinions of you, or exposure to new
fans?

I don't really know how much of my success I should attribute to the message board. The fact that I stay accessible to the public helps them find out about me and what I'm doing. It doesn't HURT, I know that much. Whenever they want to find something out they usually know that they can just hit up the website and get what they need. And if the information they need isn't there, they can ask me on the message board.


9. what does a message board do that a simple website can't?

As long as people visit it, the information stays active and users are interactive. No matter how lazy I get, the fans are always going to be posting some craziness to keep the rest of the people interested in coming back. It's addictive for sure. A website without a message board can be active, but they often fall flat because the people want to take part in it.

10. You have somewhat of a notorious reputation when it comes to Internet
demeanor, yet you are one of the most accessible artists on the web...do you
care to explain that juxtaposition?

Well, I don't put up with bullshit. Not in real life...and not online. The Internet is a playground for bored, prepubescent boys to try to entertain their daily boredom by instigating reaction out of random people. Why the hell should I entertain the notion that most of the people contacting me via the Internet actually want to have a real conversation with me? It's a waste of time, mind and energy. I can be selective with people...it's in my nature.
As much shit as I have to put up with online, there has only been ONE instance when someone came up to my face and said, "You suck." It was...awesome. I wanted to shake that man's dick. Not that I appreciate his sentiment, but it was refreshing to actually be confronted face to face with someone who seemingly hates me. Instead of shaking his dick I pistol whipped him. Wack. Suck this, foo.
Post Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:13 pm
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Zarahustra



Joined: 05 Dec 2002
Posts: 55
 Reply with quote  

praise the board!
Post Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:56 pm
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Nortled



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 308
Location: Cranston, RI
Re: 2 interviews in 1 (message board gets many mentions) 4/2  Reply with quote  

Sage Francis wrote:
And please take your ugly mug shot off of my telephone pole.


hahaha. Finally someone takes a stand against those annoying things.
Post Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:34 am
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Jesus Frank



Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 2312
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Re: 2 interviews in 1 (message board gets many mentions) 4/2  Reply with quote  

Sage Francis wrote:
As much shit as I have to put up with online, there has only been ONE instance when someone came up to my face and said, "You suck." It was...awesome. I wanted to shake that man's dick. Not that I appreciate his sentiment, but it was refreshing to actually be confronted face to face with someone who seemingly hates me. Instead of shaking his dick I pistol whipped him. Wack. Suck this, foo.


Sage, I respect your gangsta.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:50 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
 Reply with quote  

Heh, I remember when a bunch of us went to go check out some Christian hip-hop site. I forget the circumstance surrounding it, but I remember that doods were seriously on some, "Will I go to Hell if I listen to Nas?" type shit.
Post Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:02 am
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the Wiper



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Kent State University
Re: 2 interviews in 1 (message board gets many mentions) 4/2  Reply with quote  

Sage Francis wrote:


Lenny Kravitz is so safe. He is SO safe. He also has no spark of angst or revolution in him. He might be good at throwing up a John Lennon-style peace sign, but it's for the retro value.


how true/funny is THAT?!?!
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 3:55 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
harry would be ashamed.  Reply with quote  

Didn't know I was still media assassin. I've been doing a poor job. I guess it was an Emeritus thing? Well I'm still down for a hit anytime, bruh.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:11 pm
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Succintroundabout



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 130
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
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I often wonder at what the media agendas are. After all, some people called "conservative" claim the media are "leftist," and some people called "liberal" claim they are "rightist." So who's right? I hear a lot about hidden agendas and angry white men, but there is little evidence to back up such claims. "The media" describes a fairly divided bunch of mediums from newsprint, to television, to radio. When one says "the pro-war position fits in perfect with the media's agenda," one wonders whether Fox News, and the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CNN, ABC News, the Washington Post, CBC News, etc... actually share some unified position. You don't see many pro-war columns in the New York Times(more accurately, absolutely none),; you are unlikely to hear many anti-war positions expressed on Fox News. Media sell a product just like Nike or McDonalds; the idea here is to sell to as many people as possible. Thus the New York Times will cater to New Yorkers, and Fox News will cater to whoever tunes in. CNN is failing to report the Iraqi casualties as it should, and yet when Saddam was still in power, it refused to report the crimes of that government in fear of compromising their Bagdhad station.

I don't believe there is any insidious "media agenda;" in fact, I think the idea foolish and demonstrative of poor judgement. Conspiracy theories, ladies and gentlemen, should remain with the CIA and in the National Enquirer.

No surprises really. I suggest that if you are concerned by media bias you should take to reading, and "essai" independence from your television sets.


Last edited by Succintroundabout on Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:31 pm
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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William Safire regularly writes pro war columns in the NY Times.

No United States news media sources have covered any Iraqi civilian casualties.


Take of that what you will.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:35 pm
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Succintroundabout



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 130
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
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djdee2005 wrote:
William Safire regularly writes pro war columns in the NY Times.

No United States news media sources have covered any Iraqi civilian casualties.


Take of that what you will.


Do you know how many columnists the New York Times employs?

American media sources have not covered Iraqi civilian sources extensively, but they have certainly published the casualty claims emanating from the Iraqi Infromation Ministry. Really there can be no accurate representation of actual numbers for some time to come. Iraq was a war zone until a couple of weeks ago, and nobody wants to risk his life in order to determine whether quoted casualties are accurate or not. I hope you are not asking for absolutely inane coverage of the conflict??? There is a difference between unbiased reporting, and "providing both sides of the story"; that is not a journalist's job; they are supposed to objectively report the facts as they have seen them, not tell us what both sides SAID.

Djdee, I know for a fact that you don't have access to, or even have seen conflict coverage from 90% of America's printed news providers. I am fairly confident that I see more different American and Canadian newspapers in a day.

All that I ask is that you people clear your minds. Please be reasonable for heaven's sake. You whine about propaganda, and bias, but look at yourselves; you aren't even willing to make a fair appraisal of the situation.

If every person on this forum thought the way I do,(no fear of that) I would still challenge them to be accurate, show good judgement, and think critically. I don't want people goose-stepping to any tune, whether pro-war or anti-war.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:54 pm
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm

Explain why that's not covered, fucker.


Why do I not see those pictures on my TV set, no matter what station I'm watching.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
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Succintroundabout



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 130
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
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djdee2005 wrote:
http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm

Explain why that's not covered, fucker.


Why do I not see those pictures on my TV set, no matter what station I'm watching.


There's no need to get upset dj. I don't know if you've been paying attention, but CNN doesn't show American casualties either. There is some effort to sanitize this war, and quite frankly, I don't think it would be money-wise for these corporations to show those pictures. I have a feeling they'd get sued.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:09 pm
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Nope



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 1916
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how easily you people forget that war is clean, effective and righteous in every way shape or form

haven't you ever played with little war toys? this is sooooooo much cooler cause they explosions and fireworks are REAL. You're not you trying to simulate them with your mouth

it's a spectacle...I hope you enjoyed it (and keep enjoying it) and forgot that THIS actual country is in deep SHIT
Post Sat Apr 26, 2003 9:16 am
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SergOne



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 3884
Location: San Francisco
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Reggie wrote:
Heh, I remember when a bunch of us went to go check out some Christian hip-hop site. I forget the circumstance surrounding it, but I remember that doods were seriously on some, "Will I go to Hell if I listen to Nas?" type shit.


wasn't it because the guy running it wanted to do an interview and sage gave him the gasface and so the dude through a hissy fit...um hiphopgatway.com I believe....I remember there being a thread about how god gets mad at christian rappers who cuss....that site is by far the WORST board ever
Post Sat Apr 26, 2003 10:05 am
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Sarcastro



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3281
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djdee2005 wrote:
http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm

Explain why that's not covered, fucker.


Why do I not see those pictures on my TV set, no matter what station I'm watching.


yo djdee, don't take offence to this, but you really get pissed way too quick, especially in a conversation/discussion which doesn't require you to lash out against people.

And even if you had a very valid counter-statement, by you attacking another person most people (myself included) would just stop paying attention to your comments.
Post Sat Apr 26, 2003 12:17 pm
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