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Sage Francis 

A Healthy Distrust

Wednesday, Feb 16 2005
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Sage Francis walks that fine line between offensively earnest and incisively romantic. What should sound pretentious (the numbing soullessness of society) and/ or obscenely melodramatic (calling a failed relationship "slave labor") drips from Francis' tongue as if his spit were ambrosia. He takes on the precariously trite terrain of the fallacies of religion by staging a "Devil Went Down to Georgia"-style DJ battle between the sun and the moon ("Sun vs. Moon") that is almost breathtaking. "Gunz Yo" explores the connection between guns and hip hop. Rather than taking the bloated, self-righteous Michael Moore approach to gun control, however, Francis penetrates the issue with a head-spinning, densely rhymed metaphor about his cock and guns as phallic symbols, implicating himself in the whole system. This ability to call his own bluff is perhaps Francis' greatest stroke of genius -- just when you're about to roll your eyes into the stratosphere at his audacious self-lionizing, he sputters out a rhyme like, "The Devil is the fucking white man ... rhyming," and beats you (more articulately) to the punch.

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Rachel Devitt

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