Sage Francis Gets Sick to Death on New Mixtape

Categories: Mixtapes

Peter Fortin
Sage Francis

You can't kill him, motherfucker. As long as there's been a mobilized modern indie-rap movement, there's been Sage Francis. But before the worldwide touring, battle accolades and, as Chuck D referred to it, the "private Idaho" Sage has created for himself, the Providence, Rhode Island native predicted the MC mixtape release model with his Sick of Waiting compilations. With four years since the release of the last one (and three years since his last proper album, Li(f)e, his final release for Epitaph), this week Francis releases Sick to D(eat)h, a mixtape boasting unreleased and rare material that spans almost two decades. We spoke to Francis about putting these collections together as well as his work with HIV-Positive South African children.

See also: The Puzzling History of Rap Album Sequels

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Walter White's Mixtape: The Best Songs About Meth

Categories: Drugs, Mixtapes

Even experts need to kick out the jams while they cook up the rock
Where there be drugs, there be songs. The Velvets will rhapsodize their smack, Redman will tell you How to Roll A Blunt... musicians just can't help writing odes to the junk that messes 'em up. But where is the Meth songbook? The charts aren't exactly packed with serenades to the meth experience. Maybe crystal doesn't have the same rock n' roll cache enjoyed by your cocaines and your heroins (facial scabs and bad teeth don't get you a Rolling Stone cover). But by some estimates, the speedy little crystal is America's third favorite drug (after booze and weed). So let's give meth its moment in the musical sun. We did some digging and found the 10 best songs to enjoy whenever you want to kick back, smoke rock and break very bad.

See also: Breaking Bad's Best Musical Moments

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The 18 Most Preposterously Quotable Lines From Riff Raff's New Mixtape

The Houston-via-Hollywood rapper Riff Raff dropped a new mixtape over the weekend! Titled Summer of Surf, the album includes collaborations with Internet darlings Kitty Pryde, Chief Keef and Lil Debbie; Riff Raff himself contributes quite a few bizarre boasts, not to mention a song titled "Versace Python." Here's a handy primer on the project's most preposterous lines.

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Sorry For The Weight: Lil Wayne's New Mixtape Full Of Empty Posturing

Lil Wayne's mixtapes used to be events in rap. His incredible work on the Dedication and Drought series gave birth to the Mixtape Weezy that could credibly claim to be the best rapper alive in 2006-07, a rapper so good that Jay-Z admitted on his otherwise rapper-loathing "D.O.A." that he "might send this to the Mixtape Weezy." Even Weezy's pre-incarceration tape, No Ceilings, flashed the brilliant, offbeat wit that made Wayne a show-stealer for the better part of three years. Sorry 4 The Wait, released today, finds Wayne getting his show stolen.

Sorry is ostensibly an apologia for the delays plaguing Tha Carter IV, now dropping at the end of August; it could have restarted the hype train for that album, but instead reinforces the growing assumption that Wayne's lost more than a little joie de vivre. The 2011 Weezy is on everything but fire, full of empty threats (having someone else shoot for him is a frequent boast, and admittedly smart for a guy convicted of gun possession), and trotting out come-ons (to "bitches," natch) that won't sound appealing to anyone who has heard Weezy be authentically sexy, as on "Motivation." Listen to the mixtape through and it's hard to decide which of those approaches is most disappointing; catch the "Yeah, Weezy go hard like Cialis" line on the titular outro track—over a stripped-down version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"—and it's hard not to feel bad for him, diminished to tellingly flaccid bars.

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Download Childish Gambino's New Super-Serious EP, Freaks and Geeks

Today marks the release date for Freaks and Geeks, the new EP from Childish Gambino, the rapping persona of actor Donald Glover, he of Community and 30 Rock. Continuing in the vein of last summer's Culdesac, Glover has largely skewed away from the "joke rap" tag first foisted on him back when he was mostly rhyming over indie-rock songs. Instead, on this five-track release, he focuses on themes of isolation, the trappings of fame, and love and/or sex. Of course, "Cheezy" is still a comedian at heart, but he has some seriously intense moments here nonetheless: "I wanna pick up the phone/Ask my dad how to handle it/ But what will happen when my dad's not there to answer it?" he asks on the opening track, "Be Alone." One track later, of course, he's using e.e. cummings' name as a crude punchline. Which is what's known in Hollywood as "range."

Download: Childish Gambino - Freaks and Geeks

While you're here, make sure to check out the one-take video for the title track:

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M.I.A.'s ViCKi LEEKX Mixtape: A 2010 Victory Lap and a Notice To The Haters

For those who wondered in 2010 what had become of M.I.A.'s once seemingly unerring pop instincts, ViCKi LEEKX--the free mixtape she released in the middle of the night on New Year's Eve--provides a provisional answer: she did it all on purpose. Putting out your new mixtape at the precise hour the internet is least read--maybe even throughout the entire year--is an intentional act, one designed not to feed the online content machines that chewed her up this year but to use the waning hours of 2010 to throw a few more shots their way. We all probably deserve it.

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The Best Local Music Of 2010: Our Annual Mixtape Starring Sweet Bulbs, Marnie Stern, Sharon Van Etten, and Special Guest Hannibal Buress

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent. This is a compilation of 2010's best local music, lovingly curated by YIMBY columnist Christopher R. Weingarten. See last year's tape here.

R.I.P. Chris Weingarten's old blue trucker hat. Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
Have you heard the one about how the recession is over? Uh, don't tell it to New York City's musical community. While our center-of-the-universe assembly line of hype puttered on unabated, 2010's biggest up-and-comer success stories were actually beamed from the outer limits of the five boroughs--Titus Andronicus (Glen Rock, NJ), Screaming Females (New Brunswick, NJ), Phantogram (Saratoga Springs, NY), Real Estate (Ridgewood, NJ)--places where money can go to tour vans instead of landlords, where musicians aren't paying $400 a month for the luxury of sharing a practice space with three other bands. The remaining New York City indie-crossovers all benefited from frugal one-man home-recording set-ups (Oneohtrix Point Never, Matthew Dear), stripped down line-ups (the Drums, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim) or simply embracing the idea that sounding mushy is smarter than buying new gear (Small Black).

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Download All The Songs Sampled On Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Given Kanye West's total ubiquity these past few weeks/months/years, it's jarring to realize that his profoundly unraveled My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is not even officially out yet. And yet the Internet dissection is well under way -- just as Girl Talk's All Day (which we can't exactly endorse) now has a website dedicated to charting each goofy mashup in real time, the folks over at Fake Shore Drive have compiled every track Kanye samples on MBDTF, to predictably amazing results.

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Please Welcome Das Racist's Sit Down, Man Mixtape

So yeah, if you thought "Free Jazzmatazz," the blunted, Vijay Iyer-featuring, borderline spoken-word drug odyssey that we premiered here last week was going to somehow be any weirder or more outré than the rest of Das Racist's second real mixtape, Sit Down, Man, you were wrong.

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Battle Of The Summer-Themed Mixtapes: The Morning Benders Vs. Jens Lekman Vs. DJ Jazzy Jeff & Mick Boogie

Here we have three artist-curated mixes to guide you through this apocalyptic heat: Given that DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince's "Summertime" remains the almighty jam (it is too hot to even argue about this) (she turn around to see what you beepin' at), Jeff's gargantuan, nearly 50-track mix with Mick Boogie gets the edge (Ice Cube! Nu Shooz! Skee-Lo!), but Jens Lekman's erudite A Summer in 3/4 Time (featuring "music and dialogue from Day of the Locust (1975)") and the Morning Benders' Say Mayday Mix are worthy contenders as well, the latter employing both the Avalanches and that sweet ballad Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing in The Jerk. Go with whichever one dissipates the humidity for you.