Sage Francis


Other people I have spoken with suggest the show has set white rappers back 10 years. Any thought on that statement?
It’s not about setting ‘white rappers’ back ten years. That’s not going to happen. All it will do is instigate more work from white emcees to prove themselves and be better than expected, which has been their driving force for a couple decades now. My concern has little to nothing to do with whities in hip-hop. I think it’s sending race relations and society back. Also, I think there has been damage done by endearing wack rappers to the vast VH1 audience.

Do you think the racial make up of rap has changed drastically since you were introduced to hip hop?
Of course. I remember how astonished I was in 1997 to find out that a lot of the underground cats were actually white. This was a time when people seemed to mask the fact that they were white. It wasn’t rapped about and no one was really publicizing that fact (keeping their pictures off of album covers and what not)…for good reason. But it was crazy how many white kids were actually making good hip-hop while the general accepted mentality was that white people have this innate ability to understand and execute hip-hop. All of a sudden there was a huge indie explosion where white people were saying ‘Fuck it. This is my passion and I’m going to pursue it.’ El-P, Cage, Eminem, Sole, Esoteric, Non-Phixion, Necro, and a slew of others. This is ten years ago mind you. 5 years before that I was hard pressed to find any other whitey doing this shit. I think everyone was keeping to themselves. Maybe everyone was so embarrassed by the Vanilla Ice debacle that they felt like they had to hide for a few years.