November 18, 2016 marks 40 years ’round the globe for SFR emperor Sage Francis!
He’s not as thrilled to celebrate the milestone as the rest of us are to celebrate him for it, but that’s just the nature of entering your 40s for most of the humans of earth.
The rest of us are #blessed to def that we’ve gotten to experience decades worth of incredible artistic achievement from the man (and he’s not such a bad guy to have as a label-owner, either).
To mark the occasion, we’ve created a 40-for-40th Sage Birthday YouTube Playlist – 40 tracks long & pulled from across his career.
Click ‘play’ on the video below and celebrate with a song for every year he’s been with us!
HUGE HAPPY BIRFDAY LOVE TO UNCLE SAGE!
Here are the 40 songs included in the playlist, in no particular order:
How did we come up with the playlist?
A panel of Strange Famous artists, employees, friends & family were polled and asked to give their Top 5 Favorite Sage Francis songs.
Here are some words from SFR label manager Storm Davis about the process, taken from a secret email exchange between SD & Sage:
“Prior to your expressing a desire for a minimum of bday fanfare, in my plans for maximum bday fanfare, I had reached out to a number of SFR crew and asked them for their Top 5 all-time Sage songs, with optional write-ups, with the intent of putting together a 40-song YouTube playlist.So, instead of blasting everything out to the universe over the course of the day, I’ll just send the info to you, because what everyone wants for their birthday is a mountain of data to sift through. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NERD
Also, I send it to remind you that not only does everyone care greatly for you, but you are such a [compliment/adjective that applies] artist that there were an astoundingly small number of crossovers between the lists. I expected “SEA LION BEST OF TIMES MAKESHIFT PATRIOT MAKE EM PURR SLOW DOWN GANDHI” to keep being submitted & I’d have to pick 35 songs myself. But other than learning that “Crack Pipes” is your most popular tune amongst the inner circle, there was so much diversity that it got to 40+ tracks very quickly.Unedited breakdowns & commentary from those who responded can be found below, again, in no particular order.
I emailed others, but I assume they didn’t respond because they were out shopping for your birthday gift.”
1. Best of Times – I think it’s one of the top five songs to come out of the underground movement, period. Nothing out there that sounds anything like it.
2. Crack Pipes – first time I met Sage in person I DJ’d for him at the Knitting Factory in Tribeca. Personal Journals had just come out. I pressed play on the first record of the set, and Crack Pipes started. I hadnt heard it yet. One of my favorite life memories.
3. Damage – Getting the chance to be on stage for this song and be a part of it in any sense has been fucking unreal. Basically every line is a quotable and it’s one of the all-time great hooks.
4. Vonnegut Busy – Beat from Prolyphic is insane, and Sage wrote the shit out of this. During the most difficult year of my life I’ve regularly been rapping different sections of this song to myself without even knowing it.
5. Lie Detector Test – Somehow this has always been the most personal Sage song to me. In the sense that it’s so casual and unguarded? Not sure if I’m wording that right. I dunno. I’ve always loved it.
1.Andy Kaufman- probably an unconventional favorite sage song but this was the one that really got me into him. Both sage and Andy Kaufman. This song made me look up who Andy Kaufman was so that I understood the reference of the song and I fell in love with the character of Andy as a product of that.
2. Inherited scars- this is the first rap song I heard where I thought….RAP CAN TALK ABOUT THIS!?
3. The cure- you know what I think the stand out lines are in this song?when a boy writes off the world it’s done in sloppy misspelled words when a girl writes off the world it’s done in cursive. sometimes things that are true as still are still brilliant in their observation.
4.make em purr- sage made the indie world care about his fucking cat.
5.the emperors new clothing- this song reminds me of the early 2000’s because I had it on constant repeat and it makes me feel so nostalgic.
5. Let me Come – BECAUSE ITS MY SONG ON MY ALBUM AND ITS AWESOME AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I WIN.
Non-Prophets – Any Port into Damage – I was never big on “traditional” rap when I was growing up- braggadocio or even clever pun stuff. The entire ‘Hope’ record had such a fun and yet dope/braggy/smart-as-fuck vibe to it that I never liked before then and still don’t like much of and the wit woven throughout the record went super hard for nerdy 15/16yrold me especially considering I was obsessed with Personal Journals as like a 14yrold, before this came out. Not to mention some of the truly most classic production like EVER- fucking ‘Fresh’?!
Bridle – Loved the sing-sing cadence of this track from the moment I heard it, struck me long before the lyrics did.
Testimony – HO SHIT honestly this beat gives me goosebumps every single time. Sage starts this track with the best verse I’ve heard on a “posse” style cut with a few exceptions, and I’m not sure I even understand the verse! Intro/Outro hook so goddamn catchy.
Clickety Clack – This is sort of a quintessential Sage Francis sound for me personally, I remember the first listen through this record when this track hit I knew I probably couldn’t like another song on this record more than Clickety Clack. Amazing dark/brooding beat and the rhyme scheme throughout is great with such dope lyrics accompanying and keeping up the scheme from beginning to end I always struck me.
Personal Journals? I know this doesn’t help for this 40 track playlist but Personal Journals was simply groundbreaking for me from beginning to end as a young teenager. I’m extraordinarily picky about what I like in music, if I didn’t like songs I would skip them every time or just delete them from the playlist and I think Personal Journals was one of those records had such truly eye-opening songs that I would go back to those sort of tracks that were initially abrasive or “boring” to me at first, so I could make sure not to miss anything. The production can’t be touched.
Dead Mans Float – This song is so well written. Sage is one of my favorite emcees of all time. Fuck all y’all.
Disasters – Sage kills this. It’s funny, it’s got character. “I’m sitting on top of a Barbarian chair with Rastafarian hair”
The song where he fakes his own death to see who comes to his funeral, Mermaids Are Sea Sluts, and Different.
-Make them Purr
Dead Man’s Float
Conspiracy to Riot
I have only one entry.