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Sage Francis - conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Sage Francis

January 2002

These are the transcripts of an interview with Sage Francis. Sage Francis is a well known independent emcee who has worked with The Molemen, various Anticon label artists and is part of the group AOI and Non-Prophets. He won Skribble Jam last year and has gone on to receive high praise for his work. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on January 30th, 2002.

MVRemix: So is Sage Francis your real name?

Sage Francis: God gave it to me

MVRemix: You know God?

Sage Francis: Well...I don't like to brag.

MVRemix: What have you been up to recently?

Sage Francis: Writing and setting up the Personal Journeys Tour.

MVRemix: When will the LP properly see the light of day?

Sage Francis: April 15th. It has God's endorsement, which is really fucking cool.

MVRemix: Fuck yeah, so, you know it's online right?

Sage Francis: Sure do. And I am writing a manifesto to alert people of my thoughts on it.

MVRemix: Care to throw out some of those words now?

Sage Francis: It disturbs me for a number of reasons. And not just because I won't be seeing any money. That's the least of my concerns. I don't want to talk about this. It's just not the manner in which I wanted my album to be presented to people. The album is accompanied with a 30 page booklet and artwork. It goes beyond that though. The music on my album will stand the test of time so I'm not tripping about it killing any kind of buzz. These songs will last for ages. It's just unfortunate that some people will take shots at my trust and integrity

MVRemix: Do you know who the person responsible is?

Sage Francis: If humanity was a stick, they would be on the shit end of it.

MVRemix: Haha. I'm taking it that this material is very dear to you, could you elaborate a little on the album's content?

Sage Francis: It's called 'Personal Journals' for fuck's sake. It's the album I needed to make before I was taken off this planet. That's why my death date is 2001. Everything from here on out is icing on the cake for me.

MVRemix: The reason I asked was because I'm trying to get an idea of whether it's more like your 'Inherited Scars' track or your crazy Xaul Zan material. Many artists come up with "deep" titles and have content which slides along every other potential line.

Sage Francis: Most of the songs are in the same vain as 'Inherited Scars.' That was the point of this album. A collection of meaningful tracks. Dedicated to people who mean something to me. But it goes beyond that. It's Sage Francis. Different emotions. Various styles.

MVRemix: There's no disputing that 'Makeshift Patriot' is a very meaningful and brilliant track. Its received praise from everywhere. How long after the event did you make the track, and what are your feelings on the events since the date?

Sage Francis: I released that song free to the public exactly one month after it happened. Most of the lines are actual quotes from reporters who got overly poetic during the first couple of days after the attack. Not much has changed after the attack, except the general public seems to have gotten even dumber. I am appalled that everyone turned so blindly patriotic once they were convinced they were under constant threat from "terrorists" No shit. What world have you been living in? Having my bags checked three times before I get on an airplane doesn't make me feel safer. Sorry.

MVRemix: Want to know something else which happened on September 11th?

Sage Francis: What?

MVRemix: I turned 20. Quite the birthday.

Sage Francis: No kidding?

MVRemix: Yup, I turn 21 on the 1 year anniversary.

Sage Francis: Haha. And 22 on the 2nd year anniversary. Awesome.

MVRemix: It wasn't the most enjoyable birthday.

Sage Francis: I was awake for 3 days straight after that going nearly insane. 'Makeshift Patriot' was brewing in my head the whole time. The TV was making me sick. The noise of the crowd in that song is actual audio I took at ground zero 5 days after the attacks. Which is an interesting fun fact. It was people cheering on the rescue workers. I had to go there an absorb some of the atmosphere. I couldn't stand the filter of the TV screen.

MVRemix: Damn. So, you're located in NY?

Sage Francis: I am in RI which isn't too far away. I lived in NYC for a little while.

MVRemix: Okay, subject change... How long has 'Personal Journals' been in the works. From the sound of things it doesn't seem to be a five minute creation...

Sage Francis: At least two years in the making. The first thing you hear is a recording of me when I was 10 saying "To all those who said I wouldn't last...don't make me laugh." Lil' Sage makes appearances throughout the LP. There were at least 9 producers involved. All of them offering the perfect mood.

MVRemix: So you've been recording yourself since you were a child?

Sage Francis: Since I was 8 or 9. Yes.

MVRemix: What sort of things? Simple speech, poetry, rapping...?

Sage Francis: All rapping. Actually, it started off with me babbling nonsense into my mom's tape recorder. I was 6 or 7. Then when I discovered rap, I began recording myself rapping. And I always took it seriously. I would sneak my radio into my closet and rap quietly so that no one would find out. Haha

MVRemix: Haha. So, will we see any more Non-Prophets material anytime soon?

Sage Francis: Definitely. A whole album to follow up 'Personal Journals.' It'll be the rappiest shit ever.

MVRemix: Has it been worked on or is it just planned right now?

Sage Francis: All the beats have been done for a while now. My writing process is meticulous as hell. So is my recording process. It will come out within the year though. It is basically all planned out. We have a label signing it and everything. No comment on that yet.

MVRemix: What about AOI and The Orphanage? What's going on with them?

Sage Francis: AOI has been working on an album for 2 years now. I kind of put it on the back burner while I banged away at the 'Personal Journals' album. There are a lot of things to work out with the band, but I greatly anticipate the completion of that album. It'll be much different from anything else I have ever done.

MVRemix: What about the orphanage?

Sage Francis: Oh. I am not a member of the Orphanage, but when I'm through that's where I toss the kids. From what I know, Orphanage will not be coming out with an album.

MVRemix: What about battling? Still into it or have you lost interest...

Sage Francis: I have lost interest in entering big battles. I will enter Scribble Jam this year and win it before I stop altogether.

MVRemix: What are your favourite books and movies of recent times?

Sage Francis: Hmmmmmm. 'Amelie' was a great film. Everyone thinks I am a big reader so they offer me books all the time. I don't have a favourite. I really loved reading "It" though. That was the last book I completed and it made me feel like I should read more. But I don't.

MVRemix: What are you most/least proud of creating?

Sage Francis: I am least proud of writing and performing poems for the ESPN X-Games. It helped keep me fed though. I am most proud of the 'Personal Journals' album...for reasons I have already mentioned.

MVRemix: Have you been working on any other material, like guest spots (a la Molemen etc.) since completing your album?

Sage Francis: Hmmmmm. I did a couple songs with Slug and Eyedea. That's it though. I've been working mainly on solo stuff. Oh, and I did a song with Sole called "My Head Hurts" Jel did the beat.

MVRemix: Nice. Is a freestyle, a freestyle - if it's written?

Sage Francis: A freestyle is one without the boundaries of prepared material.

MVRemix: Hmmmmm...ok. What about this - could you die today saying you'd lived?

Sage Francis: Yes. I have decided that I want to live forever though. So if there is anyone out there with any knowledge of how to make this possible, please keep me in mind. My email is and I have a lot more to offer the future. I'll play nice.

MVRemix: You don't mind wrinkles?

Sage Francis: Wrinkles? Who the hell cares about wrinkles? I'm talking about sunsets and heart break.

MVRemix: Sunsets and heart break would lose their appeal after 200 years of 'em

Sage Francis: That's nothing for a 20 year old to decide.

MVRemix: Want a fight?

Sage Francis: No, I want to live forever, Mom.

MVRemix: Okay son. Do you have any non-musical aspirations? Would you consider writing books or scripts?

Sage Francis: Books will be written. Scripts would be a hobby if I got bored. I will learn many musical instruments and record albums all by myself. Whether people will get to hear any of this I have no idea. I just know I am going to do it.

MVRemix: Fair enough. Any last words you'd like to put to your fans and potential fans?

Sage Francis: Is God the only cure for death? Find out at

MVRemix: Just a plug? Sage, I'd hoped for better

Sage Francis: You know what, my initial response was "Nah."

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