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Sage Francis in Korea tour

Interview: Indie Hip Hop Recording Artist Sage Francis

The American hip hop recording artist and spoken word poet from Providence, Rhode Island has made Korea one of the stops on his two-month tour. Seth Fellenz recently talked to the outspoken artist.

What does a former self-proclaimed non stop “rapper, writer, label CEO, and song and dance man” do after a four-year break from recording and touring? If you’re Sage Francis, you launch yourself back into the world with a critically acclaimed album and an 80-date world tour.

Using the hiatus to get some order back into his life, the subsequent album release, “Copper Gone,” paints a deeply personal picture of just how successful (or not) he was and turns his laser sharp tongue on some of his many grievances.

“After working so hard for so long and touring almost nonstop, I decided I needed to step away from all of that in order to figure out other parts of my life,” Francis told Haps.

Though some fans worried that his break was becoming a full-on retirement, he knew that writing and performing was something he would always come back to.

“I get a lot of attention from international fans, but I have never played South Korea before. I guarantee an entertaining show.”

“It makes me feel at ease. I’m comfortable when I’m creating. I get a sense of reward for that. I never feel completely content, but I keep pushing myself to improve my abilities every time.”

With a devoted following, the emcee and CEO of Strange Famous Records has found a comfort zone in the world of indie hip-hop – which differs wildly from hip-hop artistry in the mainstream.

“It means you do practically everything on your own, you finance your own releases and you don’t have to answer to anybody,” he says. That tradeoff is a necessary part of his work, as his emotional storytelling would be the square peg in those round holes occupied by rappers making “music that is solely created for the sake of booty clapping.”

Sage Francis in Korea

As sensitive as his lyrics generally are, Francis started out as a teenage battle rapper, and competition contributes to the tone of his work.

“The whole ‘battle’ thing was a part of all the hip-hop I was familiar with while growing up. Hip-hop had a competitive quality about it where everyone had to prove they were better than the next person in one way or another. I’m not sure [the competition] shaped me as an artist as much as this is a part of all art – whether artists admit it or not.”

He pulls no punches when criticizing parts of society and the music industry that rankle him by telling stories peppered with clever compound rhymes.

Now he’s bringing his show to Korea.

“I am going to Korea with zero expectations. I am a virgin to your territory, and I just want to learn as much as I can. I get a lot of attention from international fans, but I have never played South Korea before. I guarantee an entertaining show.”

Sage Francis Copper Gone Tour -

  • December 19th at 8pm Jen-IY Collective, Daegu
  • December 20th at 10pm, Club Realize KSU, Busan

Tickets – 25,000 in advance and at the door (Facebook event page)

Visit Sage Francis on the web:

Sage Francis by Michaerl Roy

To see more of Michael Roy’s art, visit him on the web at


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