Strange Famous Records

Sage Francis “Going Through Hell” Tour, 2015

Seattle has just been added (9/14) along with dates in Canada, Sweden, South Africa, and other territories. Details are coming soon. Please sign up for the newsletter on our homepage so you don’t miss the upcoming announcements! All show dates are below. This tour is in support of the Copper Gone album. It’s also the 10 year anniversary of A HEALTHY DISTRUST!

Sage Francis "Going Through Hell" Tour
7/14 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room TICKETS
7/15 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird TICKETS
7/16 Covington, KY @ Madison Theatre TICKETS
7/17 Columbus, OH @ The Basement TICKETS
7/18 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar TICKETS
7/19 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop TICKETS
7/21 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom TICKETS
7/22 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme TICKETS
7/23 Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge TICKETS
7/24 Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s TICKETS
7/25 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue TICKETS
8/28 Virginia Beach, VA @ ICE music festival TICKETS
9/12 Butte, MT @ Original Festival TICKETS

1 butte

“ID Thieves” is my newest video:

Click image for all “Copper Gone” album options

“MAKE EM PURR”:
http://youtu.be/bjxHy8WTgTs

“BEST OF TIMES”:

LIVE SPOKEN WORD IN ATHENS, GREECE

GRACE:
http://youtu.be/tZFzBKl5ODY

“VONNEGUT BUSY”

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 09

Copper Gone 1 Year Anniversary + NEW VIDEO!

“ID Thieves” is the newest video off of my Copper Gone album. SFR’s Aupheus took close to a year animating this bad boy, and it shows:
https://youtu.be/ixu5vmfoDRs

1 cg anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of Copper Gone! To help us celebrate, Strange Famous Records is offering 30% off all CG-related items. Use the code “CG1YR” at checkout: https://sfrstore.myshopify.com/collections/copper-gone

If you’ve already supported by purchasing the album, some gear, or a show ticket, I’d like to force an ice cream scooper through my chest and offer each of you a heart dollop. The fact that Copper Gone hit Billboard’s Top 200 the first week of its release was a proud moment for all of us at SFR. Many obstacles have been placed in our path, and media elites have all but written us off, but we’re still able to hit significant milestones thanks to the constant support of the fans. That’s what makes these accomplishments especially sweet for me. That’s often what pushes me through the exhaustion. As many of you may have noticed, I’ve toured practically non-stop since this time last year, and the dates keep piling up. I can’t play everywhere at once, and I can’t please everyone at once, but I’m grateful as hell to have the ability and opportunity to keep going.

With every dollop of my ice creamy heart…THANK YOU.
-Uncle Sage

1 cg screen

Jun 04

Crumby Art

1 crumb pedalstrike

“Breaking bread with the best of ’em. Crumbs are left under the table for the rest of ’em.” – Sage Francis

This portrait was made entirely with bread crumbs. The person who made it calls himself Pedalstrike. His work is amazing. You can read his explanation in regard to this Uncle Sage portrait here. Part of that writeup reminded me of a poem I included in my Personal Journals booklet by Bill MacMillan called “The World’s Worst Rapper.” I’ll leave this here and wish Pedalstrike the very best in all future endeavors:

the world’s worst rapper is a devotee of the old school
understands the importance of knowing your roots
is the neighborhood historian hip hop
he has memorized the soundtracks to krush groove & beat street
owns everything by kurtis blow & grandmaster flash
can trace musical influences like an anthropologist

the world’s worst rapper has stepped up to the verbal plate only once
an ugly incident remembered by no one but himself
now he plays the interested observer when friends flip to freestyling
in a circle of would-be stars, he is the audience everyone plays to

the worlds worst rapper has never been jealous of others
he is always encouraging, supportive, never a negative word
he wishes he could work the words but sits silent instead
fear & failure keeping him closed

dreams deferred become dreams denied

the world’s worst rapper works in a record store to feed his vinyl addiction
keeps up on the latest sounds, can spot a winner a mile away
uses his discount to keep tables turning & mixes fresh
provides the musical steel the local DJs will fire-hammer

into soundtracks for saturday night sessions

the world’s worst rapper has a lot of friends, is well liked
he has never been beaten down or harassed
he has never been kissed

he sits alone at night on the fire escape of his apartment
listens to queen latifah & draws the faces from his day into an old notebook
tito, d.j., mikhaila, the lost & confused tourist
the young woman in his store who picked up the lil’ kim CD

his drawings are masterpieces sketches of ordinary people
done with all the all the love he feels for them
he sees timeless beauty in everyone
except himself

the world’s worst rapper is an artist who doesn’t know it
so focused on the failed dream of rap stardom
that the talent he does have is overlooked, scratched out
he is the silence between the beats

he may never know just how close he is to wonder
& no song can ever make up for that

…& so
…& so the
…& so the beat
…the beat
…goes on

Mar 20

Are You Adult Enough to Use a Flag as a Cape?

Apparently, capes were too soon for Madonna.

I’ve been rocking this SFR flag as a cape for over 10 years though. LIKE A CAPE PRO. No accidents, no injuries, no diseases, nothing. It just provides the super human strength needed to keep my indie grind going. Oh, and they’re finally available to the public HERE: www.tinyurl.com/SFRflagcape

photo by ty watkins

photo by ty watkins

My SFR flag is probably the most requested item at shows. Some people offer to pay for it, but usually they’re just like, “Gimme that cape, man. PLEEEEEAAAASE!” Well, I couldn’t sell it or give it away as only one was made. And it’s for me. However, after ten years, we finally figured out a way to manufacture 100 of them at a price that wasn’t ridiculously high. So, no, I still can’t give them away. But if you really are about that cape life, or you want to let your freak flag fly, get this before it’s no longer available.

#STRANGEFAMOUS!

Feb 25

House of Bees 3 is Here! Track-by-Track Breakdown

Welcome B. Dolan & Buddy Peace‘s new baby to the world! HOUSE OF BEES 3 can be purchased in a variety of physical forms and packages here. All House of Bees Vol. 3 orders include an INSTANT MP3 Download!

We’ve been waiting a long time time to let you hear some of these tracks and tell you the stories behind them, so grab a copy in your format of choice and dig in to B. Dolan’s track-by-track breakdown below.

The trilogy is complete mannnnn. It’s a celebration. Let’s get into it!

hob3cover

1. CARETAKER ft. DAN LE SAC, HOWABOUTBETH

The reason I’ve come to love the House of Bees series is the opportunity it gives me to chart the progress between albums. Sometimes, without the restrictions or pressure of making 100% original, sample free songs for an official collection, things come a bit easier and breakthroughs just sort of happen.

I chose to open the tape with ‘Caretaker’ because in making it with Dan Le Sac, I accidentally learned to write a new kind of song, gave myself a direction for the new LP, and co-created one of the favorite joints I’ve ever made. Dan’s synth-heavy beat is an absolute monster, which allowed me to write a more personal kind of story than I’d told in awhile. I’d also been wanting to write better choruses, and suddenly found myself singing the hook! Woah. I can do that? Yeah, fuggit I can do that! We hollered at HOWABOUTBETH who’s a real singer and brought incredible life to the words and melody I’d put down, and voila!

I’ve put this method of writing hooks and hollering at talented vocalists to bring them to life to good use, which you’ll hear more of later on in the year. “Caretaker” was a new kind of insect once it came to life; a high powered cyborg propeller-headed purple Bee, even. It banged in the whip but had a new kind of musicality, and felt like a new kind of song. It set me on a path, so it gets to kick things off.

2. NATURAL BORN TROUBLE

Oh, BUDDY PEACE. Please never stop sending me fully formed songs that I just need to fill in the spaces and rap over. I’m pretty sure Buddy sent me this instrumental in it’s finished form days after we completed VOL. 2. I’m blessed to work with collaborators who know me not only in an artistic way, but on a personal level due to the years we’ve spent in tour vehicles together. Buddy heard the source material and knew this’d get a good song out of me. That’s a rare connection to have with a producer, and why we’ve come this far, dammit!

Also, that bit about taking promoters to the cash machine? Absolutely true. In fact, I once took a promoter to his mother’s house 35 minutes outside Minneapolis at 2AM. Trouble.

3. HON3Y FROM A B33

Here’s the thing: I don’t wanna stop making songs with Buddy Peace until 20 minutes before both of us are dead. Don’t think the end of this series is the end of our collaboration. But when I heard this beat I was like ‘hot damn another dope bee song! Jesus… How many more of these can there … Bee.” Also, 3 is a psychologically pleasing number, no? The father, the son, and Return of the Jedi.

Shouts out to Market Basket. Streetwear brands stop biting my shit!

4. THE DEVIL IS ALIVE

You hear that bass? No, seriously. Turn it up in the whip. Don’t you dare listen to that bass on laptop speakers. That’s DS3K, the new engineer we’ve been working with on the new material coming out this year. Buddy expertly reconstructed the beat and 3K made it bang properly. Get ready for sonic mayhem this year.

As for the subject matter, it speaks for itself. When I heard the original Rick Ross song on which this joint was based, something finally snapped in my brain. “BITCH IM THE TRUTH!” said a former correctional officer who poses as a real drug kingpin for a living. I’d been baffled by the cognitive dissonance going on in with this dude’s career for years, but the brazenness of that statement was really just… Too fucking much.

Minus the political realities of the crack epidemic and the Iran-Contra affair’s connection to Freeway Ricky Ross’ story, what an incredible case-study of stolen identity and schizophrenic American culture.

It was a daunting task to tell Freeway Rick’s story, knowing he’s a real dude walking around in the world. I was in Europe when we released “The Devil is Alive”, and I received an email requesting a phone call from Rick himself. I braced myself for some bullshit; we’d sampled his voice, said he ‘sold death to the deaf dumb & blind.’ Imagine my relief and validation when I found out he liked the song. A lot. Fuckin a. Job done.

5. RADIO STOCKHOLM FREESTYLE

This was recorded in 2010. When I was drunk on the internet? Sage & I were on tour in support of L(I)FE and FALLEN HOUSE, SUNKEN CITY and doing a radio show somewhere in Stockholm. I’m sorry I referred to women as “females” in this verse. I’ve since come to regret that. But such is the danger of freestyle, totally off the dome raps. Wink/nudge.

6. SOLDIER BOY ft. SCROOBIUS PIP (YOU BETTER RUN RMX)

Another favorite collaboration that’s happened in the past few years, reworked by Buddy. Is that oil dripping in the beat? I like to think it is. That drum & bass ass break. Shittttt. Props to SCROOBIUS PIP for inviting me onto the original, and on a number of tours during which we’ve started big sweaty mosh pits with this one. Oi!

7. SEAT AT THE TABLE ft. WORLDWIDE

Matt Sonzala AKA Pushermania introduced me to Worldwide’s stuff on a trip to Austin last year, and I was instantly a fan. The beat on this one was produced by myself & DS3K and was originally part of a batch we created for use on the official LP. For whatever reason, a song never came together on it until this December when we were finalizing HOB3, and I took the opportunity to speak on some rappers and personalities who’ve been grossing me out of late. Anybody can take it however they want.

Turn. That. Shit. UP!

8. MADGE TRIES TO RECORD A DROP

Dear Madge of Honor. You are so intentionally bad/good at things. This lady edits my life. I owe her more than you’ll ever know. You made the album, ma!

9. STATE TROOPER

At least once per mixtape, I gotta be allowed to indulge in some Failure-y self indulgence and let my freak flag fly. I hope the Hip Hop Police let me off with a warning. “STATE TROOPER” is a Bruce Springsteen song that I’ve deeply loved and drawn inspiration from for years. For me, it’s a study in how to tell the biggest story with the fewest words, and haunting in a way I can only hope to someday equal.

Talking about this song with Buck 65 years ago, he mentioned that it had always sounded like a Suicide song to him. If you’re not familiar with that group, check out “Frankie Teardrop” for one of the more fucked up things you’ve heard ever.

And so it was that some late night in the studio, we decided to turn “State Trooper” into a Suicide song for real.

9b. EVEL TALKS ABOUT BUTTE

I have literally no memory of creating this. Can’t tell you the When, the Why, or even the How. It was just on my hard drive… For many years. I can attest that that’s my voice.

10. THE HISTORY OF ATLANTIS

This is a demo that was created for FALLEN HOUSE, SUNKEN CITY, probably sometime around 2009. That album was an exploration of the idea of Atlantis from a bunch of angles: people that are like lost cities; pre-apocalyptic civilization; etc. etc. Something about this track, which talked about hip hop as a lost civilization, seemed a bit too literal at the time. It got cannibalized into a couple separate ideas.

The first verse sort of became Earthmovers, with it’s third person telling of colonization, and the concept as a whole sort of became The Fall of T.R.O.Y. If you like this one blame Sage, who kept reminding me of it and urging me to put it on a HOUSE OF BEES release.

11. YOU CAN’T WIN ft. SAGE FRANCIS (EPIC B-BOY RMX)

“When are we gonna get an Epic Beard Men album?!” they cry. Well, I can only say that I’ve got a folder on my desktop that’s filling up with beats and song concepts. So you know, that might mean anytime from next year ’til 5 years from now.

In the meantime, I love this remix. It’s crafty. Just my style.

12. CODA

I’ve already gushed about BUDDY PEACE quite a bit, so I’m not gonna do that again. Just kidding. I love the dude, and he’s a fucking genius. This series has meant a lot to both of us and it’s been incredible to experiment and create with him on it over the past 6 years. We have made some legendary tapes, goddamit, and the man will always be my motherfuckin’ DJ. For chrissake, I asked him for a sample of a cartoony voice exclaiming “Thanks!” that perfectly matched my cadence on “HON3Y FROM A B33″ and HE HAD ONE. IN DAYS. I love ya, bruh. CODA means “end,” but this is far from that.

13. THE DEVIL & JACK MCCARTHY

This track took me 5 years to make. Let me say that again. This single track. Took 5 years.

Jack McCarthy was the poet who inspired me to try spoken word, many lifetimes ago. Those who saw him read will forever remember his voice and style, which were both instantly comfortable and full of presence. In 2009, Jack was on a tour of New England and I asked him to pay my studio a visit on his way through the region. We recorded this poem, written by a famous songwriter and poet who must remain nameless due to how often his shitty heirs sue people.

Finding music to fit this acapella was no small task. That’s the part that took 5 years. We tried numerous approaches with numerous iterations of my production setup, but it was only last year when I finally had the right musicians for this job in my circle. Along with ADAM SCHNEIDER, Myself and DS3K created the epic, Ennio Morricone inspired backdrop a dice game with the devil required. We recorded live guitars, violins, and upright bass. We enlisted ALIAS’ help for the vocal processing and final mix. It had originally been my intention to make this the first or last song on the official LP, but the aforementioned legal issues ultimately made that a bad idea.

Jack McCarthy passed away in 2013 at the age of 73. I strongly urge fans of spoken word to check out his incredible body of work, which can be found at STANDUPOET.NET. A painting of Jack hangs above my writing desk. He is sorely missed and fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.

14. KING BEE (LIVE IN LIVERPOOL)

To close things out, we’ve included a preview of the new live band setup. With any luck, we’re taking this motherfucker around the world in 2015, and as you can hear the sound is huge. The setup was engineered by DS3K and arranged by Adam Schneider under my direction, and this recording features Warren Borg on guitar, Paul Glover on drums, and Buddy Peace on the 1s & 2s. The energy created by this setup live is nothing short of explosive, and I definitely hope people get a chance to experience it before the years out.

Annnnnnnd that’s it! Hope you’ve enjoyed listening and reading. Thanks as always for your incredible support and see you soon!

HOUSE OF BEES 3 can be purchased in a variety of physical forms and packages here. All House of Bees Vol. 3 orders include an INSTANT MP3 Download!

Feb 08

East Coast Tour: Sage Francis x Ceschi x Metermaids THIS MARCH

square with dates
Although I’m kicking off 2015 with a west coast tour, it was important bring it all back home for a few dates with the east coast homies, Ceschi and Metermaids this MARCH:

3/12 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (All Ages) TICKETS
3/13 Providence, RI @ The Met (All Ages) TICKETS
3/14 Boston, MA @ Great Scott (21+) TICKETS
3/15 New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place (All Ages) TICKETS

Get tickets ASAP because these shows are poised to sell out. This is not only my homecoming from the Copper Gone World Tour, but the Metermaids have just dropped a new album, and these shows will also serve as Ceschi’s album release on Fake Four! Pat the Bunny and Brook Pridemore will be joining our New Haven show (FB event page here.) Additionally, we will be joined by Storm Davis at the Providence show (FB event page here.)

header for east coast
If by chance you’re looking for a new cover photo for your social media, HERE YOU GO! Many thanks to Pat Jensen for the incredible poster artwork. It will all make sense when the video gets released next month.

#STRANGEFAMOUS!

Jan 16

“THE PLACE SHE FEARED MOST” – Sage Francis lyric video

Thanks to the wonderful work of morgans brother, here is the new lyric video for The Place She Feared Most from my Copper Gone album:
www.tinyurl.com/PlaceSheFearedMost

By this point I hoped to post a full account of everything that happened in the past 6 months during the Copper Gone World Tour, but that’s going to have to wait for another time. For now I just want to thank to everyone who joined me on my road to recover. The agents, promoters, journalist, tour mates, and the fans who came out to help make this one of the most successful tours of my career. Many people in the industry thought it couldn’t happen, especially after my 4 year hiatus. I’m not sure why. But hey, it’s fun to continue proving those people wrong. That’s my life juice. They didn’t get me in the beginning, so I’ll be damned if they get me in the end. Enough of that though. I only have two weeks to catch up on the mountain of sheeeyiiiiittttt that built up during my absence before I have to head to the west coast for more shows. My full list of upcoming date are here: http://tinyurl.com/SageShows

1 space the place she feared most

Jan 12

A Brief History of METERMAIDS As Told Through Pre-Order Extras.

A Brief Metermaids History (To Be Included with Pre-Sales)

A Brief Metermaids History (To Be Included with Pre-Sales) by SWELL.Order your copy of “We Brought Knives” on CD, MP3, & limited edition Cassette HERE.

[Editor’s Note: The Metermaids Archive Pack giveaway is over, all of the extras listed have been sent out to new homes. Thanks for all who purchased!]

So, I don’t know if anyone will give a shit to receive any of these items included with their pre-sale.  For some reason it was important to me to get them out into the world now, with the release of We Brought Knives.  We Brought Knives feels like the culmination of something; Sentence, M. Stine and I have now been working together for seven years.  In terms of the individual talents we bring to the table, and the combined aesthetic we have been working so hard to find all this time, this record is as good as it gets.

We’ve made a bunch of records that I’m really proud of.  Each of them has hinted at a greater potential.  I think we’ve finally hit on that potential this time around.  If people aren’t feeling this one, I feel comfortable walking away knowing that we actually did the best we could.  In emailing with Sage around the time we submitted the record to SFR, I said that we had finally made the effort to record a defining statement.  We took our time, set the bar high internally, and then didn’t stop tweaking until we all felt like we had nailed it.

I think any effort like that will make a man reflective.

When we were thinking about pre-sales I decided that I wanted to give away as much of my personal stuff as we could.  This record is everything, right?  So if I could have afforded to give away every piece of personal memorabillia associated with the past seven years I would have.  Unfortunately I still do need to have a couple of shirts that I can wear on the weekends.  So, all that said, here is a rundown of the items that you might receive with your pre-order.  Just some context in case you’re wondering why the hell there is a dirty hat included with your order.

1.  New Jersey and California

My first foray into actually doing this hip hop shit was with one of my best friends, Joel.  We formed a group in 2000 that we called MyDogBear.  We self-released an album, got to play a bunch of actually dope shows, and generally smoked a lot of weed and had a lot of fun with each other.  It was awesome.  Eventually Joel decided to move to San Francisco, which put an end to MyDogBear.  He now lives next door to me in Brooklyn, which is the best thing ever.  But I digress.

Without my rap partner, the only dude I ever wanted to make hip hop with, I felt understandably lost.  I wasn’t particularly confident in my rapping abilities at the time (or now), but I did fancy myself a pretty good producer.  So I made a ton of beats.  I knew of Sage Francis’s open-door policy regarding beats, and had had contact with him through Joel and I’s other best friend MC Squared, so I FLOODED SAGE WITH BEATS FOR MONTHS.  Seriously.  It’s embarassing to think about now.  I probably sent him like 50 beats over a two year period.

New Jersey and California is made up ENTIRELY of beats that Sage didn’t want.  My friend Adam opened a studio in his West Village apartment in the fall of 2002 (all of these years could be completely wrong, I have no idea), and he graciously let me record everything with him.  After no one wanted my beats, I just decided fuck it.  I’ll rap to them myself.

Even though it was self-produced (save for one song, produced by Joel’s brother Brant) and had no other rappers on it, I chose the name Metermaids for the project.  It is officially the first release bearing that name.  My friend Tommy came on as a DJ, and we were off to the races.

There’s some decent stuff on there.  The song “Love Song”, which was written for my now wife and baby mama, is obviously particularly meaningful in our household.

The reason why I wanted to include a bunch of copies of this record in the pre-sale is the record is not digitally available anywhere.  So, unless I personally sold it to you at a show years ago, there is no chance you’ve heard it.  In this day and age, isn’t that a weird thought?

2.  Personal Flyer Collection

There are six flyers that I have saved for personal reasons, over the course of the last seven years.  I don’t even think we’ve printed a flyer in the last four years.  Ha.  Here is their significance:

Lucky Cat Flyer: I saved this one because before this show we were interviewed for a show on Brookly Public Access Television.  They recorded the performance as well.  The show itself was dope – but it was Metermaids first appearance on television.  More of a big deal in theory, of course.  I’m sure that ALMOST ten people watched the show.

Style Factory Flyer: I saved this flyer because the show was dedicated to our homey Leftist who passed away tragically a month or so previously.  The show was packed the fuck out and amazing, and made all the better because everyone was there to celebrate this wonderful kid.  I didn’t know him as well as some, but his absence in our little scene was palpable afterwards.  Special people are special people.  I still think about him regularly.

CBGB Flyer: This is included because CBGB’s is no longer around, and we were fortunate enough to play a show there before it all ended.  I actually think it closed down pretty soon afterwards.  It was us and a bunch of metal bands.  Ha.  Perfect.  That’s one of those personal “tick this off the bucket list” shows.  I don’t even know how I came away with the flyer, but it’s the only one I’ve ever seen.

The Bagel Flyer: We were accepted through a Sonic Bids submission (jesus, remember Sonic Bids???) to play North by Northeast in like 2005 or 2006.  Sentence and I played NXNE together as Metermaids the next year too.  This one was special, though, because we were SO PROUD OF OURSELVES for being selected.  Then, on top of that, once we were in Toronto, one of the local papers had given us a write-up as one of the “groups to see”.  We were over the moon.  We printed up like 500 of these suckers and spent the night before running around Toronto getting drunk and passing them out.  The show was at an ACTUAL BAGEL SHOP, but it was packed out and amazing.  One of my favorite music memories.

Shangri-La Flyer: In the fall of 2007 the new Metermaids (meaning Sentence had joined the crew) booked a three week tour that we deemed the “Team Rad” tour, after the greatest movie ever made.  Most DIY tours, especially as virtual unknowns, are fucking nightmares.  The shitty shows FAR outweigh the good ones.  There was something special about this tour though.  Every show was dope.  We finished up with a ridiculous show at the Viper Room in LA and Sentence and I drove home to Brooklyn in three days.  That drive home was a physical and emotional endurance test, but man was that tour fun.  MC Squared joined us for the West Coast.  This flyer is for the first show on that tour, with our homeys the Misinformants, in Detroit.  Good memories.

Arlene’s Grocery Flyer: We’ve played Arlene’s Grocery like 1,000 times.  Not joking.  Love that place.  I saved this flyer because it was one of the first “showcase” shows that Sentence and I ever did.  Notice the early time – gotta make sure you get those industry peeps right after work.  It’s meaningful to me now because fuck a showcase.  Tip to rising artists – if what you’re doing is dope, the industry people will come to you.  Never feel like you have to set up events to impress them.

3.  Pirate’s Hat

This hat held me down for the bulk of our “we really want to be famous” phase.  What a workhorse.  You can see the sweatstains on it yo.  I wore it during excruciating industry-style interviews like this. Man, I can barely watch that.  And no, the crowd at the Fabolous show didn’t boo us.  They just let us know, emphatically, that they only wanted us to do ONE more song.  Not two.  Hahahahaha.  Sentence and I were really into the black and yellow color combo back then.  So the Pirates hat seemed perfect.  Lotta mileage out of that one.  Glad that it will live on in someone else’s household.  Because it no longer fits my GIANT HEAD.

4.  North by Northeast Market Table Laminant

Again, some of my favorite memories are from the festival up in Toronto.  I don’t know if it’s become hella commercialized in recent years, but the two years we played it were beautiful.  Just great bands playing great shows.  During the day they set up a music market in a square in the city where you could sell merch and meet people and bands, and it was awesome.  This item means so much to me because that second year we played the festival it was a full family affair.  Me and my wife, Sentence and his wife, M. Stine and his wife, Tommy, and our manager Matt (who is one of my best friends) were all up there together.  I’m getting nostalgic right now.  I want to call everyone.  Ha.

5.  King Stampede Hat

So, we had a friend who worked with King Stampede back in the day.  As such, we were given a shit ton of free KS gear.  It still makes up the majority of my wardrobe.  What a sad realization that is.  Anyway.  This hat has logged more miles on the road than any clothing item I have.  I think two full tours.  So many shows.  You can see the evidence right on the hat.  It’s documented, too – check out this video from the “Traveling Circuits” tour – there he is, holding me down in Ft. Wayne Indiana.  Again, happy to think that he might find a life elsewhere, now that he no longer fits my enormous head.

6.  King Stampede “Stampede” Shirt

Another workhorse item of clothing from a tour-heavy period.  Not much to say. I wore it for some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life.

6.  Traveling Circuits Tour Poster – Humboldt

Like I mentioned before, most DIY tours are a nightmare.  This tour was a nightmare.  We were on the road with our good friends Bisc1 (now Bisco Smith), Domer, and DJ Halo for about a month.  The whole idea was to tour to get to SXSW where us and Bisco had showcases.  But it was hastily put together, and most of the shows were wack.  Bisco and his crew almost died in a car accident in Washington state, we started in-fighting soon thereafter, and it just wasn’t worth anyone’s time.  The reason I saved this poster is because Bisco is one of the illest designers ever, and put together such dope collateral for the tour.  The Humboldt show was terrible, but the venue printed up these posters at least.  So I swiped one.  ALSO – the show happened in 2008, and this poster stayed in my car (that we toured in) until last week.  I’m not joking.  Six or so years in my car.

7.  Transformers Shirt

Remember that showcase flyer from before at Arlene’s?  We were so set on impressing people that our manager actually took me out to buy new clothes for it.  I have always been a bit of a fashion liability.  Ha.  This shirt was one of those purchases.  More representative than anything else, in terms of this collection.  But for what it’s worth, it has the least wear / tear/ Sean sweat on it than any of the other items!

8.  Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Artist Pass

We were able to play the BHHF in its fifth year, which was one of the awesomest experiences of my entire life.  It was a rainy, disgusting day, but that actually worked to all the artists’ advantage – the organizers set up a tent which forced all the attendees to be centralized for the performances.  Must have been a couple thousand people in front of us.  Easily the largest crowd we had ever rocked for at the time.  The feeling of walking out on that stage… maaaaaaaaaaaan.  I thought I was going to fly and puke at the same time.  We killed, though.  And got to meet Raven who is still one of my favs I’ve met doing this shit.  Another amazing memory that I hadn’t fully thought about in a long time until I typed this up.  So, whoever get this – please take care of it!

9.  King Stampede “NY” Shirt

One of my favorite shirts I’ve ever owned.  This is the toughest thing to give away, considering I still was wearing it regularly.  It was given to me the morning of the “Turn the Lights Out” video shoot.  Obviously I decided to rock it in the video.  Little known fact about that video: I am not in it that much.  You wanna know why?  I blacked out drunk on the pavement outside where we were shooting!  One of the least proud moments of my entire life.  Love that shirt though.

10.  MY “Metermaids” Bandana

This is an artifact from the happier recent years of Metermaids.  Sentence designed these dope bandanas, which we’ve never been able to keep in stock.  This one was MINE, though.  And I wore it during my favorite show we’ve ever played – with Sage Francis at the Independent in San Francisco.  I wore it the next night too, in San Diego.  Man that little tour was so good.  So whoever gets this, you are holding onto my link to the happiest hip hop period of my life.

Nov 30

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