Paul “Sage” Francis is a rapper and spoken word poet from Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to a solo career, Sage Francis was also a member of the duo Non-Prophets with producer Joe Beats, and the founder of Strange Famous Records.
At the age of eight, Francis began writing lyrics, eventually participating in local rap battles as early as 12-years-old. By 20, the rapper/writer decided to form his own imprint as a way to release his music. Thus, Strange Famous Records was created, and his first official demo was released through the label.
Two years later, Francis earned a radio show at local station WRIU, which allowed him access to computers that helped him change his music releases from dubbed tapes to CD-Rs. The initial sales of the burned CDs helped raise the money to eventually begin having them pressed at a manufacturing plant.
Throughout this period, Francis was winning many battles, including the Superbowl MC Battle and Scribble Jam. He also toured with the Providence Poetry Slam team, and served as the DJ for the NYC-Urbana poetry slam.
In 2001, Francis received recognition for his critique of the media during the 9/11 attacks in his song “Makeshift Patriot,” which paved the way for the release of his 2002 debut album, Personal Journals. To date, Francis has released six studio albums, two live albums, and eight mixtapes. He also released one album with Joe Beats as Non-Prophets.
Strange Famous Records has since grown to an extensive roster of indie artists. Their website began selling merchandise and projects in the mid ‘00s, and continues to be a successful form of revenue for the label.