Atmosphere - Pretty Broad
Step out the front yard, always on guard. Thinking about year it was when it got hard. Take it back before the bar fights and cop cars, take it back before the cocaine and rock stars.
Atmosphere f/ El-P - Homecoming
Sage Francis - Sea Lion (2004)
- Sea Lion
- Sea Lion (Featuring Saul Williams)
- Sea Lion (Instrumental)
- Stuck (Featuring Atmosphere)
- Stuck (Acapella)
- Stuck (Instrumental)
When I picked up my copy of A Healthy Distrust and put it on I was extremely unimpressed with the first track. What kept myself from changing the song were the lyrics. I know that Sage Francis is an extremely talented rapper so I’m able to at least tolerate the lyrics. The next song to appear on this album is the song Sea Lion. I immediately forgave Sage Francis for making the, appropriately titled, album opener, The Buzz Kill, before the end of the first verse of Sea Lion.
The song opens up with an Alias produced military-type drum beat that carries us into a hauntingly, yet beautiful chorus dubbed by Will Oldham. Sage reminds us that he’s a poet immediately with opening lines by doing what every good poet wants to accomplish when writing a poem. “Ma, Ma look what I did Ma, look what I did to my hands, I broke them. You gave me the stone, you gave me the chisel but didn’t say how to hold them.” He grabs our attention with the first two lines by giving us a strong image. It’s odd and interesting, and with the help of the Godloveugly-like piano sample (not that that’s a bad thing), it keeps you wanting to hear more. This is definitely a standout track on the album and I was glad to see that it was released as a single.
The single’s A-side includes a remix featuring a deep verse by Saul Williams. This is a perfect collaboration because both Sage and Saul are incredible fucking poets. It’s not at all an obnoxious extention to the song; we get to hear more of Will Oldham, who makes a brief, yet present, appearance. The instrumental version, which was produced by Alias, is also included on the single.
The B-side to Sea Lion is Stuck which features Atmosphere. Yes, both Ant and Slug make an appearance with Sage Francis. I’m happy to see that this was a B-side to A Healthy Distrust, because the album itself doesn’t have a single guest appearance from another rapper. It’s not often that you hear anyone else on any studio full-length Sage Francis album. It’s when you listen to unofficial albums like the Still Sick series, you can hear Sage trade verses with consistently, equally talented rappers in the clever ways that he does. We are listening to rapper that raps well with others, so in result we can hear an effortlessly graceful dynamic between Slug and Sage. I can imagine Slug being in his comfort zone rapping over an Ant beat, alongside Sage Francis. A definite gold find in Sage’s discography. The acapella and instrumental are both on the B-side, which are a dope plus. This beat is most certainly one to have in your collection, because it stands very well on it’s own. Ant takes us on a dark ride accompanied by a string sample and a female vocal sample.
A+ all around on this 12”.
A piece I wrote way back about this Sage Francis 12”. I feel like I’m gonna start doing more pieces like this of all the records I own.