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Prolyphic interview in Vail Daily and Westword
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Prolyphic interview in Vail Daily and Westword  Reply with quote  

Interview by Andrew Fersch for Vail Daily and Westword

Prolyphic may not write stirringly positive lyrics, he certainly does seem to write what he feels and he’s got as big a chip on his shoulder as he claims in all of his interviews. As the same time, Prolyphic isn’t just another smart angry MC who insists on complaining his way through the entire album, he’s capable of having some fun, although he definitely seems more serious than silly on “The Ugly Truth”.

Of the fifteen songs on the album there are definitely songs which stand out more for their lyricism and message (“Artist Goes Pop” and “On The Side”), and there are some that stand out for their musical ingenuity (“Survived Another Winter” and the almost comically wacky and wonderful “Dick and Jane”), throughout though both Prolyphic and Reanimator show just how talented they both are and there aren’t many weak points on the album.

This might not be music made to bump at the club, thank god though that not everyone who makes hip hop chases that dream to California and sells out, otherwise, we wouldn’t be blessed with MC’s who have strong opinions, and aren’t afraid to share them.

1) If you had to label the rap music you heard on the radio, what would you call it? And what would you call the music that you (and Sage, and others) are making?

I am not a big fan of labeling music, but I will give it a whirl.

The rap music I hear on commercial radio I consider to be manufactured pop music. All of the songs usually follow a certain protocol to attract a certain audience. There are not too many songs that contain substance and the artists themselves are usually groomed into being a manufactured "pop" personality. Most of it is superficial and most of those songs will be forgotten in 10 years just like every other popular trend. Also, this doesn't just apply to commercial music. There is a certain protocol that a lot of "indie artists" follow as well to attract certain fans. Which makes their music just as shitty.

I would call the music that I am putting out right now Hip-Hop music and I feel that Sage is in the same category. Some people might disagree and think otherwise, but Hip-Hop is what's at the core of our music. Of course there are outside influences and people could argue that it borders other genres of music, but so what. Why would any artist want to limit themselves? That's why I'm not a big fan of genres, labels, categories, etc. because everything is related. Nothing is excluded. So, yea my answer is C. Hip-Hop.

2) Is there anything you are not willing to rap about? Any subjects that you don't/won't write about?

Yes and No. Most of the songs that I write about now are from my own personal experiences and from my perspective. However I do want to explore writing from different perspectives. I won't write about a subject that I am not familiar with and try to pass it off as one of my own experiences. But, I might want to imagine and do research about what it is like to be someone or something else and write from their perspective or from 3rd person. You know? I'm not afraid to write about any "taboo" subjects, but I will not try to bullshit about subjects that I know nothing about.

3) Are you involved politically in any way? If so, in what way, if not, why not?

I have no intentions for running for Congress if that is what you're asking. But, I am a citizen of the U.S. and I do care about what is going on in this country and outside of it. I pay my taxes, I vote, I recycle, I try to do what is best for the planet and I try to stay socially aware. I could definitely be more involved in my community and I feel that I could always being doing more "politically". So, I try my best. I'm at an age right now where I am still selfish and my life is unstable financially. So, when I have free time I usually spend it doing things that I care about and with people I care about.

4) Alright, you got together with Reanimator for this album, if you would work with other folks who would they be? (Don't think just hip hop necessarily - any artist, any medium).

There are a ton of musicians I would like to work on music with, ranging from well known to unknown. Off the top of my head at this moment, I would be interested in doing music with Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley from Portishead, Dan The Automator, Prince Paul, Mazzy Star, Tom Waits, Medeski Martin and Wood. I am also an aspiring film director and I would love to do a film with Sticky Fingaz from Onyx. I think he could be a good actor. I would like to be a Cinematographer for Werner Herzog and would like a shot at being a writer for Curb Your Enthusiasm. I'm a big Larry David fan.

5) Do you think that "the game is fixed and the magic is fake"? Is

there anything we still have control over in life?

The "game" is fixed in many ways, but that doesn't mean the rules can't be bent or broken to work in your favor. The magic is fake, fake, fake. I am not impressed anymore. The bar needs to be raised. Out with the magicians and in with the clean up crew. We need someone to show us how to fix things, not to keep us entertain by illusions. Yes, we still have some control because we have options and choices. They may not be the best options and choices, but we still have them. And how we react and the decisions we make effect everything in the universe. I truly believe that.

6) Is the reference to people moving to CA and selling out in "Survived Another Winter" a dig at someone specific?

My verse is about how I didn't do that. How I stuck it out in Rhode Island and didn't jump on the bandwagons when they were headed west. I had a few people in mind when I was writing it and if someone gets upset and feels that they fall into that category, so be it. Sorry, that is just the way I feel.

7) Who do you listen to?

I listen to my girlfriend Sandrine, my Dad, my Mom and my sister. I listen to other people's conversations. If someone is saying something interesting or even uninteresting I'll give a listen. When it comes to music, I listen to anything that hits me in the chest and inspires me. It could be anything.
Post Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:38 am
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interesting about the film stuff... something that interests me ALMOST as much as making music. good read.
Post Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:24 am
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