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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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review from "Rage Francis" oh my  Reply with quote  

thanks to timmypr for the link

Sage throws a middle finger at all the hip hop labels
19 Jun 2003

Like Black Flag with SST and Public Enemy with Def Jam the identity of certain acts is inseparably bound up with the labels they recorded for. What then of those artists who find themselves on unlikely labels .... Like Sage Francis for example, arguably the underground rapper par excellence of the moment who has just inked a three album deal with, of all labels, Epitaph. Masterminded by Brett Gurevitz of Bad Religion fame as home to an exhaustive who's who of punk rock outfits old and new, Sage with his expressionistic DIY approach to hip hop is just about the last name you'd expect to find on the roster of a label with such a highly developed sense of its own identity. Never mind a label with no history of releasing hip hop full stop. Currently riding the crest of a wave thanks to the international success of 2002's 'Personal Journals' - Sage's first album to receive anything resembling conventional distribution - and his status as an associate of the high profile Anticon family, the move to Epitaph represents something of a leap into the dark for the man well on his way to making the mantle of the thinking man's Eminem permanently his own. So just how did this one man subterranean hip hop industry from Providence, Rhode Island come to find himself the labelmate of Rancid, Agnostic Front and the Dropkick Murphys?

'Andy, the President of Epitaph called me up and asked if I wanted to put 'Makeshift Patriot' on the next 'Punk-O-Rama' compilation. I was like 'hell, yeah !' 'The more people that hear that song the better so fuckin' put it out there !' Then he mentioned he wanted to start a hip hop imprint but I wasn't into that becaue I wanted to be on Epitaph,

"I wanted to throw a middle finger in the face of all the hip hop labels out there who could have really marketed me and made money out of me. I want to say 'fuck the hip hop labels', go to a punk label, just flip everyone off and do an album that's gonna blow their fuckin' minds. A lot of their fan base is sceptical about what's goin' on because they don't like havin' a hip hop artist on the label. All they hear is 'rapper' and they're fuckin' up in arms. It's the same thing when my hip hop fan base hears 'punk label' and suddenly they're up in arms. So I'm gettin' it from both sides and I fuckin' love it man. It's the perfect situation for me to be in. There are gonna be people who will never listen to me because it's rap but there are some people who are gonna give me a chance and I want to follow through with that,

I want to show them things can happen with hip hop as much as with punk rock. They're fuckin' cousins in music and people still don't recognise that! They diss hip hop by sayin' 'if I want to hear hip hop I'll go turn on MTV.' But I can counter that by sayin' ' if I want to hear punk rock I'll go turn on MTV,'

The fact is they've taken both these fuckin' things and made glossy versions of them that have nothing to do with how they first started out. I think a lot of great stuff can happen for me with Epitaph. Bad stuff could happen as well but I'm not gonna dwell on that, I'm just gonna make an album I think is worthy of people's ears.'

Other Sage projects on the horizon include the release of the Non-Prophets album 'Hope' on Lex in September and DJ Signify's 'Sleep No More' which features both Sage and Buck 65.
Post Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:28 pm
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