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My Life in a Nutshell (for future interviewers or whoever)
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21492
My Life in a Nutshell (for future interviewers or whoever)  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 share...in full:


I am my mother's only child. She is the most special person in 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 mother and him didn't get along all that great, but it was a better situation than being raised without a father. My first memory of my biological father is the day he and my mother separated. It is my earliest memory. They yelled at each other about who owned the house...she cried...he laughed. I remember the dialogue. The whole thing was very cinematic. He continued baby-sitting me, but eventually he lost all custody rights.

He then gained part-time custody of me when I was 6 or 7. There was much tension and confusion during this time....name 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 my...it'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 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 hiphopsite.com 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 Signify and Buck 65 called "Sleep No More" to be released on Lex/Warp, NON-PROPHETS "HOPE" album currently getting mixed down and to be released on Lex/Warp, limited Spoken Word 7" under the name Sage Frenchkiss currently available in England, a healthy deal is currently being worked out with Epitaph Records for solo Sage Francis albums, new installment of the Sick of Waiting CD series named "Sickly Business" to be released on Strange Famous Records by summer, a tour of Europe planned for June-Aug 2003, another tour of the states in the Fall being worked out, spoken word album in the works, a book 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. Doctors and hospitals scare me. I sleep on the floor because I like it and I conduct most of my business via email (the phone pains me.) The artistic community keeps me charged...political and socially conscious people keep me aware...and my friends are thoughtful people who contribute worthwhile conversations and conditions to this world. I love them.


Last edited by Sage Francis on Thu Apr 03, 2003 4:34 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:18 pm
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Fladlien



Joined: 09 Jul 2002
Posts: 782
Location: Iowa
 Reply with quote  

Thank you.
Post Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:48 pm
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kamereon



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 206
Location: pensacola, florida
that was different  Reply with quote  

dear diety of choice...

thank you sincerely for posting something seemingly sincere on this board.

many strange similarities to my life, but a great many more things that are very different.
so overall i guess it changed nothing, except my level of appreciation.

ooh, i know, i will IM you and say thanks and then you'll talk to me about your problems... right?

thanks,
adam from pensacola (6.5 hrs from your nearest gig, thnks 4 that 2)
Post Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:48 pm
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mc poohammer



Joined: 23 Jul 2002
Posts: 223
Location: teen mecca
 Reply with quote  

so what is this, "sages lifestory, version 5.0"?
Post Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:55 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21492
 Reply with quote  

it's the version that skips over the heart break. If you want heart break, buy Personal Journals. I'm through with it though.
Post Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:59 pm
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kamereon



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 206
Location: pensacola, florida
i agree  Reply with quote  

i have pieced together the heartbreak version.
but i much, much prefer this disney version.

it makes me happy.
we all want a disney version of life.

but we tend to have 'mr toads wild ride',
adam
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 12:03 am
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mike fields



Joined: 22 Sep 2002
Posts: 14
 Reply with quote  

just going to perpetuate the "thank you"'s

keep rocking
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:12 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11287
Location: ann arbor
 Reply with quote  

hey man.
this is good. i'm glad you wrote it...
even if i'm not sure why you wrote it.
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:27 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21492
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i wrote it because I am SO tired of telling the same story in every interview. Whenever they ask "Who is Sage Francis" I am going to cut and paste this shit. It will be interesting to see what parts they choose to use.
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:29 am
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excellrec



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1580
Location: Minneapolis
awwwwwwwwwww  Reply with quote  

Creepy man. This appears to be becoming the beginning of the end? the short version of interviews, or some typical ones? The disgruntled etching away at posts felt invalid. Don't stop posting at the message board sage. From looks of it, it would seem as though underground fame is startin to break ya down. The im'ers are just gonna keep getting more and more. The interviews appear to be growing in frequency. How are ya gonna cope man? Cutting and pasting this story probably wont last to long before interviewers do what they're best at, being intrusive. Maybe ya need to take some time off? go to New Zealand. My woman always wants to go there. She says it's beautiful and peaceful... yeah but i dont think there will be any need for a hip-hop producer there anytime soon. i think i'll just shoot for commercial success and make dough for a few years then drop out of site. Awwww just a back up plan though...wait this reply was supposed to be about sage.whoops
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:40 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21492
 Reply with quote  

all I'm trying to do is open some eyes as to who I am and how I came up.
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:46 am
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hippo



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 2495
Location: South Bay
Re: awwwwwwwwwww  Reply with quote  

excellrec wrote:
Creepy man. This appears to be becoming the beginning of the end? the short version of interviews, or some typical ones? The disgruntled etching away at posts felt invalid. Don't stop posting at the message board sage. From looks of it, it would seem as though underground fame is startin to break ya down. The im'ers are just gonna keep getting more and more. The interviews appear to be growing in frequency. How are ya gonna cope man? Cutting and pasting this story probably wont last to long before interviewers do what they're best at, being intrusive. Maybe ya need to take some time off? go to New Zealand. My woman always wants to go there. She says it's beautiful and peaceful... yeah but i dont think there will be any need for a hip-hop producer there anytime soon. i think i'll just shoot for commercial success and make dough for a few years then drop out of site. Awwww just a back up plan though...wait this reply was supposed to be about sage.whoops


Yeah quit cutting him short of his glory!! Keep your faith Sage!!!!

[]D e a c e !
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:59 am
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6339
Location: Detroit, Michigan
 Reply with quote  

I have a similar story.. My cousin dubbed me my first two rap tapes; Run DMC's King Of Rock and Fat Boy's Crushin'.. I was 9 years old.. I loved those tapes.. I used to perform Protect Yourself (My Nuts) in front of the mirror, even before I knew what the hell an S.T.D. was.. Then came LL Cool J and 2 Live Crew.. At the time, I didn't really get into Public Enemy.. I just didn't get it.. When you're 10 years old, it's all about songs that were fun to sing along with.. "I'M NOTORIOUS, I'LL CRUSH YOU LIKE A JELLY BEAN!" was my war cry, playing Pick 'Em Up, Mess 'Em Up on the school playground.. I was one of three white kids at an all black school, and it influenced me.. I wore black Bart Simpson "crack kills" teeshirts.. My pants to the back were my every day uniform.. I wore UNLV Running Rebels clothes after the Brenda Got A Baby video hit The Box.. I wore U of M Hurricanes gear cuz of Luke and Vanilla Ice.. I wore ChiSox hats cuz of N.W.A.. Everything I saw on The Box and Yo!, I tried to be, as with every kid on my block and in my class..

Growing up hip-hop..
It was fun.. Everything was so fresh and new back then..

Now I wonder.. If I was 10 years old again today..... Would I be wearing a Cardinals jersey and a band-aid under my eye?.. Would I even have gotten hooked on the crap that MTV plays now-a-days?.. A dozen years ago, there weren't any horribles albums on store racks.. If it was Def Jam, you knew it was good.. If it was Ruthless, it was worth listening to.. If it was Rap-A-Lot, you knew it was going to be entertaining.. Tommy Boy's roster was dope.. Everything.. It was all just flourishing.. A great time to be a kid..

(Ninjas were dope too... Karate Kid, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Enter The Dragon were all watched at least once a month.. It was manditory.. Couldn't get enough of that shit.. Tape 'em off the network stations, with the half assed editing, forget to pause and unpause the tape when the commercials started and stopped)..

Thanks for the story... and the memories it triggered.
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 2:04 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21492
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I'd have to say that if I was 10 right now...i would definitely be rebelling against hiphop. Just as I was rebelling against hairbands.
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 2:06 am
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6339
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Now's a good time to rebel against everything..

Genre pioneers vs. current 2002 artists

Hip-hop: Run DMC, KRS-One vs. St.Lunatics, Ja Rule
Punk: Sex Pistols, Ramones vs. Blink 182, Green Day
Metal: Megadeth, Slayer vs. Papa Roach, Lincoln Park
R&B: Marvin Gaye, Al Green vs. R.Kelly, Ja Rule again
Pop: Michael, Madonna, Prince vs. Carson Daly's sideshow

They just don't promoted good music like they used to..
Post Tue Sep 24, 2002 2:26 am
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