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We heard about the Sage Francis show in Boulder on April 18th and we literally started to blast his music in the office and talk about all the shows the staff has seen from this OG of Hip Hop. We dropped the information on our audience and through the intrinsic forces of the Hip Hop gods….We were able to get an interview with Sage. He is stacks and stacks and stacks of knowledge from the realm of lyrical construction to the essence of truth in music. Awareness and acceptance are just part of the game. The passion is what sets the best one’s apart. Enjoy some words from what Hunt describes as, “not sure if you will understand this journey unless you listen to some of his albums and embrace that true grimey sound of real life in your ear. He makes the struggle a reality from the music of his heart. Nothing like feeling it, hearing it, living it, and remembering it with Sage Francis. I know many of you true street kids will read this interview a couple times….cause I did.”
GG: When did you first pick up the mic?
SAGE: I just had to jar my memory to answer you literally, even though I think you’re wondering when I first started performing on stage. Literally my first microphone was at the age of 9 or 10 when my mom bought me a “Michael Jackson” microphone that would send out a frequency to the radio on our stereo in order for my voice to be amplified. I don’t think that mic lasted very long, but it was my first. I began performing on stage when I was 12 doing talent shows and battles. Unbeknownst to my parents. And then when I was 14 I was stranded in South Providence after winning a battle. My dad had to pick me up at 2am. One of the only times I ever really got into big trouble. Thanks, microphone!
GG: What was your inspiration to start?
SAGE: Well, I don’t know. Kids are naturally inspired. Everything is new, awesome and inspirational to kids before they get burned out. When I first heard hip-hop I immediately wanted to learn as much as I could and participate in it. Writing has been fun for me and then when you add rhymes, song structure, bragging and competition into it? Golden. And then it became a tool for learning about things I wasn’t learning anywhere else. Hip-hop played a very important role in my upbringing and what made it special was that it was pretty much all mine. I didn’t have many people to share it with. I had to hide a lot of it away. With the porn.
GG: What’s your writing process now-a-days?
SAGE: My brain is on a constant search for interesting word combinations. The kind of words that get used depend on how I’m feeling, and the amount of writing I will do depends on the words that come to me. If I had to sit down and write an album in a day I could do that. No sweat. But that wouldn’t be the kind of album I hope people have come to expect from me. Maybe I’ll give that a whirl at some point just to see what comes of it, but I am an editor by nature so I’d rather run the words over a million times in my head and obsess.
GG: Any traditions or superstitions when it comes to performing?
SAGE: My only rule is to not eat anything a couple hours before the show. I break that rule every show.
GG: Advice for the youth trying to come up in the game?
SAGE: Yes, I recommend they read a poem by Bukowski called “Don’t Try.” Take it to heart, take it personal, and then go from there.
GG: Where can we catch you this spring/summer?
SAGE: COLORADO! I will be playing Fox Theatre in Boulder on April 18th and The Summit in Durango on April 20th. I’m bringing Prolyphic with me as his new album is about to drop on Strange Famous Records. I’ll also be playing Boise, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, NYC, RI and some more are being booked at the moment. All the shows are listed at www.SageFrancis.net
GG: Your take on the status of the environment?
SAGE: It’s fucked. haha. And we’re not doing much to unfuck it. It seems that we’re the kind of species who needs to see how truly bad things can get before making the appropriate changes. That, in itself, is nature to me. And we’re playing our role as a destructive species to ruin the fun for everyone. I’m not saying this is the truth, but it’s what seems to be happening.
GG: Is the passion from the struggle or from the knowledge of learning lessons in your work?
SAGE: I’m just passion, sir. For no reason.
GG: Whom should we be watching in the hip hop game this spring?
SAGE: I run with a company of folks who I believe deserve watching. The whole Strange Famous crew is highly active this year and it looks like we’re going to be adding a couple new groups to the roster which I’m exited about. I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, but watch for Prolyphic and Buddy Peace, B. Dolan, Cecil Otter, Buck 65, Metermaids, Sleep and Scroobius Pip. And since I believe you’re based in CO, shouts to Sole, Whiskey Blanket, Bullhead*ded and Wheelchair Sports Camp as well.
GG: Are you GGFam?
SAGE: Are you Strange fam?