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Join indie hip-hopper Sage Francis in saying "Fuck Clear Channel."

Wednesday, Feb 25 2004
There are still a few artists out there whom Clear Channel doesn't own. Sage Francis is one of them, and he's so passionate about this fact that the MC and slam poetry champ from Providence, R.I., has launched a 41-city outing called the "Fuck Clear Channel" tour ("FCC" for short). It's a testament to any artist's underground popularity to be able to mount such an affair. Clear Channel not only controls a majority of the free world's radio stations and public advertising space (i.e., billboards), but also owns SFX, the country's largest concert promoter.

But it's not even a chicken wing to Francis: He's built an impressive career without a stitch of commercial radio play or unsavory corporate pandering. Personal Journals, his 2002 album for Oakland's independent Anticon, was his first full-length for a record label, but he had been self-distributing his music for years by harnessing the power of the Internet and embracing the downloading revolution (Napster actually helped Francis gain his considerable national fan base).

A new addition to Francis' live show is the Gimme Fund, a band with two acoustic guitarists and a drum machine manned by the rapper's partner in crime, Joe Beats. Together, Francis and Beats are the Non-Prophets, who late last year released their debut, Hope (Lex), a hip hop record that clowns the genre's clichéd conventions at the same time it improves upon them. Expect to hear a live mash-up of folk stylings with the essential old-school hip hop boom of the T-808, not to mention a taste of the as-yet-unreleased material Francis has compiled for his next album, due out later this year on the punk-leaning Epitaph Records (which signed him to a three-album deal). The Non-Prophets will appropriately close the show with songs off of Hope, all performed with a middle finger to the Man.

About The Author

Tamara Palmer


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