Album cover: Li(f)e

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Sage Francis Bio

"All great truths begin as blasphemies," proclaimed the fiery playwright George Bernard Shaw. It's a sentiment that can be applied exponentially to the works of rapper Sage Francis and his exhilarating new album Li(f)e. Francis has never been afraid to provoke. As a result he is a sometimes polarizing and increasingly important figure in modern music. Adored by many, reviled by a few but never ignored and always essential, Sage Francis has emerged as the reigning agent provocateur of hip hop. Read more



LI(F)E BLOG

Makeshift Patriot – 10 years later

Relevant then, relevant now.

MAKESHIFT PATRIOT by Sage Francis

“Recorded in October 2001, Sage took just enough time to refine his prose while still exposing his raw nerves. The rapper from Providence, R.I., visited Ground Zero five days after the attacks, and this track recounts his frustration at the bandwagon patriots on the news and in the city, people all too quick to jump in line behind our leaders and cease asking critical questions. He as much as predicts the subsequent creation of the Patriot Act, warning “Freedom will be defended at the cost of civil liberties.” He decries a media which at the time was panicking America into a patriotic fervor by showing the attacks on the news over and over and over again, while a city and nation in mourning were still trying to heal. Pretty powerful stuff, a snapshot of the times, with an air of urgency, immediacy, and sadness.”Houston Press

LYRICS

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out Of Stock
I Hang Myself at Half Mast

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out Of Stock
I hang myself…via live telecast.

Coming live from my own funeral, beautiful weather offered a nice shine,
Which is suitable for a full view of a forever altered skyline.
When times like these arise I freestyle biased opinions every other sentence.
Journalistic ethics slip when I pass them off as objective. “Don’t give me that ethical shit.”
I’ve got exclusive, explicit images to present to impressionable American kids,
And it’s time to show this world how big our edifice is.
That’s exactly what they attacked when a typically dark skinned Disney villain,
Used civilians against civilians and charged the Trojan horses into our buildings.
Using commercial aviation as instruments of destruction,
Pregnant women couldn’t protect their children. Wheelchairs were stairway obstructions.
Now have to back petal from the shower of glass and metal,
Wondering how after it settles we’ll find who provided power to radical rebels.
The Melting Pot seems to be calling the kettle black when it boils over,
But only on our own soil so the little boy holds a toy soldier,
And waits for the suit and tie to come home. We won’t wait ’til he’s older,
before we destroy hopes for a colder war to end.
“Now get a close up of his head.”

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out of Stock
I Hang Myself at Half Mast
”How does my hair look?”

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out of Stock
I Hang Myself at Half Mast
“Run that tape back!”

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out Of Stock
I Hang Myself at Half Mast
“It looks JUST like a movie.”

Makeshift Patriot
The Flag Shop Is Out Of Stock
I hang myself…while the stock markets crash.

The city is covered in inches of muck.
I see some other pictures of victims are up.
Grieving mothers are thinking their children are stuck.
Leaping lovers are making decisions to jump,
While holding hands to escape the brutal heat,
Sometimes in groups of the three.
The fall out was far beyond the toxic cloud where people look like debris.
But all they saw after all was said, beyond the talking heads,
Was the bloody dust with legs looking like the walking dead, calling for meds.
Hospitals are overwhelmed. Volunteers need to go the hell home.
Moments of silence for fire fighters were interrupted by cell phones.
Who’s gonna make that call to increase an unknown death toll?
It’s the one we rally behind. He’s got a megaphone and he’s promising to make heads roll.
We cheer him on, but asbestos is affecting our breath control.
The less we know the more they fabricate. The easier it is to sell souls.

“There is a new price on freedom, so buy into it while supplies last. Changes need to be made! No more curbside baggage. 7 pm curfew. Racial profiling will continue…with less bitching. We’ve unified over who to kill, so until I find more relevant scripture to quote…remember: our god is bigger, stronger, smarter, and much wealthier.
So wave those flags with pride, especially the white part.”

We sell addictive 24 hour candle light vigils in TV’s.
Freedom will be defended…at the cost of civil liberties.
The viewers are glued to television screens. Stuck. Lots of things seem too sick.
I use opportunities to pluck heart strings for theme music.
I’ll show you which culture to pump your fist at & which foot is right to kiss.
We don’t really know who the culprit is yet…but he looks like *this*.
We know who the heroes are. Not the xenophobes who act hard.
“We taught that dog to squat. How dare he do that shit in our own back yard!”
They happened to scar our financial state and char our landscape.
Can you count how many times so far I ran back this same damn tape?
While a camera man creates news and shoves it down our throats on the West Bank,
With a ten second clip put on constant loop to provoke US angst.
So get your tanks and load your guns and hold your sons in a family huddle,
‘Cause even if we win this tug of war, and even the score, humanity struggles.
There’s a desperate need of blood for what’s been uncovered under the rubble.
Some of them dug for answers in the mess. The rest were looking for trouble.

Makeshift patriot
The flag shop is out of stock
I hang myself at half mast.

Makeshift patriot
The flag shop is out of stock
I hang myself…
DON’T WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS WITH YOUR FLAGS.

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