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My Life in a Nutshell. Updates as of 5/26/03
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
My Life in a Nutshell. Updates as of 5/26/03  Reply with quote  

Before you come at me with all the "really, buddy...get over yourself" shit, I would like to say "I know, I know." The following diatribe is for people in need of background info for whatever reason. The truth is, I'm sick of telling the same story over and over. Here is what I am willing to full:

I am my mother's only child. She is the strongest figure of my life. I was born in Miami but I was reared in Rhode Island, where I spent most of my childhood bouncing from home to home until we settled into a house at the end of a dirt road in the woodlands. There were two houses on my road. We were number 2. My mom eventually married a great guy named Ray, who raised me as his own.
My biological father gained part-time custody of me when I was 6 or 7. There was much tension and confusion during this changes, family changes, discussion changes, environmental changes and new rules as to what was or wasn't appropriate to say or do. This is when I learned a great deal about adaptation and diversity. My biological father lost complete custody of me when he returned me to my mother a day late...drunk...after giving up on his idea of stealing me away to Florida. This is the last I heard from him for a long time. My life went back to woods, karate lessons, sports, school, and a crush on the girl who sat across from me in 4th grade.

This was the year I was introduced to a Fat Boys tape by someone in my school. All he kept saying about it was, "They say the F word on it!" and all the rest of us knew about it was the dancing that went along to it. Breaking...something we first did even before hearing rap, because it was a huge fad in pop culture at the time. I tried explaining what rap was to my family so I could get my hands on some of it, but they didn't know what I was talking about. While staying at my aunt's house, we were watching television and we saw a public service announcement featuring a girl rapping about the dangers of smoking. I was like, "THAT...that's IT...That's what I like!" My aunt looked at me with a lemon face and responded with, "You LIKE that??"

Every week I would save up $10 and buy a new tape at the mall music store, hoping it would be a hiphop album, but I was never really sure because there wasn't a hiphop section at that time. No one else really listened to rap where I was from, so I would have to look on every album cover for a black guy in gold chains. Once I found the black guy with gold chains, I would look on the back for album titles that included the words "fresh, def, funky, ill, MC, or DJ" and if they did have those words it was a safe bet that it was a rap tape. My only guidance at this point was a Boston college radio show called "Rap Explosion" which played for one hour every Saturday night on 88.9 WERS. I had to force myself to stay awake until 11 PM and press record on my tape player. Then I would fall asleep while holding the antennae, hoping the music would override the static. Damn, I had the coolest boombox. You weren't hiphop without the right radio, and my shit had blinking lights with huge knobs....and a DOUBLE tapedeck!!! When my mom bought me Beastie Boys for Easter I was repulsed. "Listen to some whiteboys? No thanks." I shoved the tape away for a good couple of months before I finally broke down and gave it a chance. I grew to love it, and this was my first lesson in hiphop humility. My mom sonned me.

In 1988 my mother took me to my first concert ever...Run DMC, Public Enemy, EPMD, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince at the Providence Civic Center. Can you fucking IMAGINE that? I didn't even know who the rest of the groups were, but Run DMC were my heroes...and I was willing to give the rest of them a try. A riot broke out on the bottom floor. Chairs were getting tossed, and people were getting shanked for their dookie gold chains. The music was so loud my ears literally rang for a week. My mom was tolerant of my music and supportive, but I think her opinions of it changed for the worse after witnessing this concert. Oh's rebellious. haha. When she went to buy me the Public Enemy tape for Christmas the store clerk warned her that "they are racist." When she told me what he had said I was angered...and I went out and bought the tape myself. The next day I was flaunting in school as if anyone gave a shit. "Hey Kevin...LOOK!" I was holding something powerful in my hand...and I could tell by the look on his face that he just didn't understand. This would have to remain MINE for now.

Public Enemy ruled my life for the next 5 years or so. BDP ran a close second. Although there were obvious moments of ignorance and silliness, hiphop was INTELLIGENT as well as tough and aggressive. That's was the appeal. Admittedly there were feelings of elitism...something I wasn't willing to resolve or forfeit for any other musical genre. As far as I knew, rock and roll was all about drugs and heavy metal was all satanic. The rest of music was ancient and invalid. Hiphop was it. Everything else was pathetic and a waste of time to me....except for ninjas. Hiphop, hiphop, hiphop all the way...and ninjas. Learn it, live it, emulate it, innovate it...

"Yo MTV Raps!" became the new guide for first half of the 90's. "Pump it Up" with Sister Dee helped as well. I tried to learn about every rapper and all styles of hiphop. I dug almost ANYTHING that had rhymes over an 808 drumbeat. It wasn't a time to be picky. Besides, most of the material that came out was great, so the not-so-great stuff also had its place. Even Vanilla Ice. I was excited at the prospect of a white guy gaining popularity in hiphop...and yes, that excitement came right back to bite a chunk out of my ass. As hiphop got more popular, I came across more kids with the same passion as me. We would take weekly trips to Boston and buy African medallions, beads, and whatever else we could get our hands on that looked afrocentric. This was the era. And yes, I hated my skin color and my people. And yes, I lived in a racist town so I was surrounded by people who perpetuated my rebellion. I did my best to spread a good message and I always did my best to help people understand their own ignorance (unaware of my own....unaware that I had any.) It kept me busy.

My friends and I started dancing and putting together routines...going to underage clubs and battling. Going to high school dances and battling. There wasn't much competition so we were gassed on ourselves. That had to end though...because we sucked. Just like my graffiti. I went out bombing with my friends a couple times. When we were finished I looked at the mess I spilled onto the wall and felt horrible about it. When we went to the beach out in some nature preserve, my friend threw up the word "JINX" in block letters on a large rock. It really upset me. He didn't understand my stance on the issue, because to him it was all about hiphop. I quit playing with paint cans when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do anything significant with graffiti. I wish more people would quit when they realize they suck at something.

1994 was a strong year for hiphop and it seemed to burst into many categories. Sub-genres became more prevalent and separations were made. I gained coastal pride. West Coast turned gangster and wack. New York City was the Mecca. Friends of mine would come back from college with mixtapes and radio recordings from NYC and we would absorb it all. Source magazine was the bible. Nas was in control. Wu Tang was beginning its world coup. Many friends of mine began dabbling in drugs and alcohol...I couldn't get down with that. At least I had my girlfriend of 4 years. Til she left me. At least I had my family. Til they started dying. At least I had a college education. Til it left me without a job and over 30 Gs in student loans. At least I still had hiphop. Til it starting sucking horribly. At least I had me.

music career:

1996 was the year I went for broke. I realized that there was no sense in waiting for a major label to "discover" me. It was time for me to make something of myself and do it unapologetically. Enter spoken word, homegrown demo tapes, Manhattan, URI, new girlfriend, local battles, 90.3 WRIU radio show, the AOI band, large attendance at local shows, AOI tapes and cd, internet business, Joe Beats, Poetry Slam championships, Superbowl MC Battle championship, Non-Prophets Bounce 12", Sick of Waiting tape, ex-girl to next girl, Still Sick...Urine Trouble tape and CD, Brooklyn, next girl back to ex-girl, Ben and Jerry's, Non-Prophets All Word No Play 12", Scribble Jam MC Battle Championship, quit job and do shows nationwide with DJ Shalem, ex-ex-girl to new next girl, Sweden, Iceland, tour with anticon, Fill in the Blanks Tour with Atmosphere, Personal Journeys Tour, Personal Journals LP, major press, band officially breaks up, new ex-girl back to ex-ex-ex-girl, limited edition Makeshift Patriot 7" released by in 2002, Sick of Waging War cd, thoughts of quitting life and getting married, mental break down, ex-ex-ex-ex-girl back to freedom, tour of England, tour of Australia, complete tour of Europe, Documentary in the works, DVD in the works, Makeshift Patriot EP released on anticon, "Live Band Dead Poet" North American Tour with Gruvis Malt and CR Avery, album with DJ Signify and Buck 65 called "Sleep No More" to be released on Lex/Warp, NON-PROPHETS "HOPE" to be released on Lex/Warp in late Fall, limited Spoken Word 7" under the name Sage Frenchkiss currently available, another full tour of Europe with Anticon All-Stars took place from June 12-July 7 (2003), a 3 album deal has been worked out with Epitaph Records for solo Sage Francis material, a new installment of the Sick of Waiting CD series named "Sickly Business" to be released on Strange Famous Records in Spring of 2004, another tour of the states in the Spring being worked out, spoken word album in the works, a live cd in the works, a book in the works, a DVD in the works, and I am keeping my doors open to any musician or producer willing to help me create more music.

I live alone...and for the most part I work alone. Religion and Government are monsters. I have seen their devestating effetcs on the proletariat worldwide. Doctors and hospitals scare me. I hate telephones so keep your blipping and beeping out of my face. The artistic community keeps me charged and informed. Books are feeding my current hunger for knowledge. Our brains are starving and tv has acted as an appetite suppresant for too long. Feel me. My friends (few and far in-between) are thoughtful, considerate people who contribute to worthwhile conversations. They help me laugh at myself. I love them. My girlfriend has given me some new eyes to view this world through. I am grateful. I am currently living in my new home with hopes of becoming healthier and more socially conscious. My writing will come along for the ride. Thank you all so much for contributing to my experiences.

Last edited by Sage Francis on Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Thu Apr 03, 2003 4:32 pm
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
Posts: 1
LIFE  Reply with quote  

That was felt strongly on this side man. I felt what you said even though i cant relate to everything you said. Yes you are 100% correct about the government and religion being that they are monsters. Also i love your music and poetry... keep it up man.
Post Thu Apr 03, 2003 9:27 pm
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Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 347
Location: dreamin, not sure if im awake
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did you update the life part, or just add the music part, just wondering if you changed anything bout your life.
Post Thu Apr 03, 2003 11:25 pm
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Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 45
Location: 612, mpls
spoken word album  Reply with quote  

I'm visiting london this summer, do you know where I could pick up your sage frenchkiss album?
Post Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:36 pm
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Posts: 7872
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Post Sun Apr 06, 2003 1:32 am
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Posts: 28
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Yo What's up Sage? I like your lyrics a lot man... I've been writing poetry myself and I was wondering if you could give me some feedback. Here's one of my poems:

I despise the stereotypes of my generation,
Mannequins with artificial, glued-on smiles,
Getting high on Zoloft, writing equations
In the caskets of classrooms, meanwhile,
Life passes by like an ex in see-through
Marijuana smoke through their blood-shod eyes,
Through their pitch-dark lungs where the sun appears to
Have ceased to rise.

I despise…

I despise clocks and watches, but adore photos.
I adore memory for it’s filled with potholes,
Where the time freezes and expands like water,
I adore puddles.

I adore reflections, but despise shadows
On the pale white walls that attract them like magnets.
I despise emptiness for it makes things shallow,
I adore fragments.

Any comments would be appreciated, man. Also, if you like this one, I can post or email you more stuff. Thanks a lot. Keep doing what you're doing. Peace
Post Mon Apr 07, 2003 1:26 pm
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Joined: 03 Jul 2002
Posts: 806
Location: Kingston
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whats the book going to be about?
Post Mon May 26, 2003 5:06 pm
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Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Jersey
what's it like?  Reply with quote  

What's it like having so many people sincerely interested in your life story? I mean, if you were most other children (and men.. including myself), then you probably craved attention in one way or another. Does actually getting it feed your hunger for it? How does it affect your ego? And how do you control how it affects your ego? I would love to read your answers. And remind you how "lucky" you are to have the influence you do. Reguardless of the fact that you earned it.
Post Mon May 26, 2003 5:15 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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the hunger has been well fed.

over fed.

I don't have a vivacious appetite the way celebrities seem to have. I have definitely had my fill.
Post Mon May 26, 2003 11:30 pm
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the Wiper

Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Kent State University
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yeah, my belly's pretty full too...

also, i've read most of this in other random places...

however, props to Sage for remembering what order to place the 'ex-girl's to next girl's'...
Post Tue May 27, 2003 12:42 am
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Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Posts: 15
Location: Sin City -Lost Wages
Poems for critique  Reply with quote  

Sage- I find everything you say appealing, wether it's a song or interview. I feel as though i have your life to view. Without an image to follow through. But that's okay. I want to thank you if I may. For allowing your fans to know about you, man.
In my home I will burn sage to keep the government away.
In the fall I hope to see you in Las Vegas.

There is a voice inside my head telling me to move ahead.
To which direction shall I go? What if I fall and brake my toe.
Will you be there to help me rise? Or will I have to just be wise?
What if I fall and brake my neck? Wild you look at me and reject?
If I should fall and scar me face, will I loose all sense of grace?
Will I be left all by my self and feel this pain I've never felt?

As slow as honey travels down the tree is how they befall the fee, they have to pay for actions once lost into an absurd and belligerent activity.
Once engade in the atmosphere, to the floor they become more near.
Buzzing through the crowd they all relate, unaware of that which is so fake.
Actions speaking louder than words and vocalizations launching more wars.
One drop turns into liters, then venom then will act as a leader.
Post Tue May 27, 2003 4:26 pm
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Joined: 12 Nov 2002
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spoken word album in the works?
book on the way?

are these things to actually look for in the near future to or are they in the idea stage.
Post Tue May 27, 2003 6:20 pm
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Joined: 21 Oct 2002
Posts: 28
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DVD???? Nice.... Live performance, or what? Any details, release date (wishful thinking)?
Post Wed May 28, 2003 5:56 pm
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Posts: 159
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Well since theres already questions on here i figured i'd ask mine as well. Is the "Sleep No More" a full length, and when it's comin out?
Post Wed May 28, 2003 10:13 pm
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Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Posts: 15
Location: Sin City -Lost Wages
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Only child eh? I thought "Inhereted Scars" was about your sister showing you her vertical smile..???
Post Thu May 29, 2003 3:33 pm
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