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Sage Francis

Saturday, February 19, at The Granada.

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"I'm the motherfuckin' Bill O'Reilly of this hip-hop shit," Sage Francis claims on A Healthy Distrust, his first release from punk staple Epitaph Records. He may not be too far off the mark. With a journalism degree and a passion for political wordplay, Francis has seamlessly combined aggressive battle rhymes with spoken-word since he was a preteen, earning a place as a forerunner in the "angster rap" scene. Whether he's nitpicking his own existence or launching a full assault on the powers that be, this Rhode Island native's cynical inner voice screams volumes with a morbidly grim sense of humor that goes hand in hand with nervous jitters. Touring endlessly for the past few years, Francis has learned to forgo the commonplace two-turntables-and-a-microphone setup for a more lively feel, hitting the stage this time with an entourage that includes four-piece Solillaquists of Sound and Inhaler Tom on guitar for a show that will be anything but typical.

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