Union Transfer


Sage Francis

Sage Francis

B. Dolan, Prolyphic, Metermaids

Wed, July 2, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages

Sage Francis
Sage Francis
Sage Francis is widely considered one of our generation's greatest lyricists. His career derives mainly from gifted wordplay which creates vivid narratives to instigate as well as inspire, but since it often derives from an accumulation of public disdain and personal turmoil, it's made abundantly clear that it's more about storming the castle than watching the throne.

Dubbed as the "forefather of indie-hop," Francis originally earned acclaim in the early 2000's by winning the most highly coveted titles of the emcee battle circuit. With little to no funding, Francis sustained himself by selling his innovative “Sick of” mixtapes, all made by hand on the floor of his Providence, RI apartment. These were essentially bootleg compilations full of select recordings from his 12” vinyl singles, demo sessions, live performances and radio freestyles. The popularity of these tapes birthed Strange Famous Records (SFR); a meager, one-man operation in 1999.

Despite having no official distribution, Francis' unique brand of music spread like wildfire via the advent of file sharing networks. This resulted in him attaining a massive cult-like following around the world, creating a demand for his albums and live performances at which point the bigger labels took notice. With his first studio album, Personal Journals (2002,) Francis daringly set aside the more boastful side of rap by catering to his poetic leanings and scathing socio-political commentary.

In 2005 Sage Francis was the first hip-hop artist signed to Epitaph Records and soon became one of the highest selling independent artists of his genre. Rather than abandon his day-to-day grind at SFR, he channeled all of his newfound resources into it, allowing the label to expand in staff as well as roster. Having fulfilled the three-album contract deal with Epitaph, Sage Francis has returned to releasing music independently as he gears up to defeat the odds once more.

The "SICK TO D(EAT)H" mixtape dropped on in December of 2013, which will be followed up by the next official album, COPPER GONE, in June of 2014.
B. Dolan
B. Dolan
For over a decade, B. DOLAN has built a reputation for himself as one of the smartest, most energetic and surprising shows in Hip-Hop and Spoken Word. He keeps his loyal, homegrown fanbase coming back with a continually shapeshifting presentation, outsider perspective, and masterful execution.

B. Dolan began performing in 1999 in the heart of the spoken word scene; New York City’s famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where he developed his chops quickly. An 18 year old Dolan arrived for the first time as part of HBO’s Def Poetry Series in 2002, and the respect earned with numerous performance poetry championships in the two years that followed.

2003 also saw the first release of “The Failure,” [at the time] a two-disc, homegrown demo full of Dolan’s earliest work.
After this self-release, Dolan disappeared from the poetry scene to pursue more overtly musical projects, as well as his own contribution to the struggle against social injustice.

In the midst of inventing the ragged, breakdown aesthetic of his later work, Dolan also dug in his activist roots by creating and co-founding the Knowmore.org website with former slam teammate and friend Sage Francis.

B. Dolan joined Francis on The Knowmore.org Tour in support of the project, which is when Francis expressed interest in releasing a revised version of “The Failure” on Strange Famous Records.
2008 brought about the official re-release of “The Failure” lp, which was trimmed down by a disc, and was critically acclaimed as a genre-defying, unheralded classic. It also earned a legion of die hard fans for Dolan’s spoken word pieces, who’ve stuck around since to watch this unique artist’s continual reinvention.

In 2009 he released House of Bees vol. 1, a full length mixtape that served to build momentum toward his 2010 release. Then, in 2010, “Fallen House, Sunken City” hit. Dolan’s decidedly hip-hop sophomore lp was hailed by rap legends, critics and fans as a massive success. Alternative Press called the album “proof that underground hip hop still has bite,” and The Onion’s A.V. Club named it “One of the best albums of 2010.” “Earthmovers,” the album’s first video, also became an MTVu Freshman of the Week and was entered into rotation on MTV2.

Since his signing to SFR, Dolan has toured exhaustively and internationally, most notably as part of the Paid Dues, SXSW 09, Soundset, and Rock the Bells festivals.

In addition to his partner and frequent collaborator Sage Francis, Dolan has also toured with the likes of Buck 65, Alias, Sole, Solilaquests of Sound, Prolyphic, Dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Grand Buffet and others.

In a University setting, Dolan has performed at Princeton, Montserrat, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, Providence College, University of Reno, Humboldt State University, University of San Diego, University of Delaware, Utah Valley University, West Valley College, Boise State University, University of Washington, and the University of New Mexico.
Prolyphic began writing lyrics in his parents' Rhode Island breezeway at the age of 14, using a dual tapedeck stereo to record rap songs over instrumental mixtapes. In 1999 he released his first demo tape and shopped it around at Scribble Jam, catching the attention of many stalwart figures of the underground hiphop scene such as Sage Francis, Sole and Kevin Beacham. This demo, a collection of songs and sketch interludes that tested the genre's artistic boundaries, acted as a precursor for the official albums that would soon follow.

For the next 4 years Prolyphic attended college, worked a day job, honed his writing skills, and, out of pure necessity, delved into beat production. With not much more than a Gateway PC, an MPC sampler, and some tedious record digging, his first self-produced album, "An Alarm Clock Set For 9:01," was birthed unto the world. It was a 70 BPM baby with blunted, melancholy backdrops. Soon after that Prolyphic linked up with Chicago emcee Robust on a collaboration project called "Stick Figures."

Prolyphic signed to STRANGE FAMOUS RECORDS in 2005 when Sage Francis partnered up the introspective lyricist with his long-time production partner, REANIMATOR. The subsequent album, THE UGLY TRUTH, received critical acclaim even though it didn't quite match the success of the auto-tuned raps it sat beside on the charts that year. That was 2008, and by today's standards that's practically a lifetime ago. 5 years later the snarling, pessimist emcee has emerged once again, this time with eclectic DJ/Producer extraordinaire BUDDY PEACE (London, England,) to answer the question: "Where has Prolyphic been?" The content of this new album makes it abundantly clear; "in the same hell as you."

WORKING MAN takes the all-too-familiar tales of family turmoil, cancer scares, lack of health care, unemployment woes and then forges them into blue collar anthems. Buddy Peace's obscure loops and dusty breaks give the musical backdrop a quintessential "golden age" throwback sound, while Prolyphic uses grim life experience as the launching pad for an exploration of realities that are bigger than one man's experience. This is a collective experience and it comes across as such. We all know someone with cancer. We all feel the pinch of the bad economy. Now it becomes a matter of what to do with that frustration and how to address the bigger picture.

Prolyphic uses the personal approach and goes for the throat like never before. On songs like "DRUG DEALER" we hear about doctors pushing pharmaceutical products on his mother to treat her cancer, and why her ultimate decision was to refuse them. "SIX FEET HIGH" tells the story of his father losing the family business in the floods that overran New England a few years back. With his unique honesty in full view, Prolyphic courageously tells the story of what it meant to rebuild everything from scratch without help from the Government, and why experiences like this have working class New Englanders "losing faith in the Democrats."

It's not all doom and gloom though. The first single, "BUSINESS AS USUAL," has Prolyphic double-timing his vocals while weaving lyrics around a catchy, Buddy Peace bounce pattern. "DEATH OF THE BOOMBOX" is a playful posse cut that features SFR label mates SAGE FRANCIS and METERMAIDS. Songs like "FUCK BANKS" use clever metaphors which help to illuminate the reasons why everyone is so disgruntled over their paychecks being "held for ransom." If the new generation of hip-hop fans are no longer interested in deriving meaning from their music, the intricate beat layering and masterful wordplay used throughout makes it more than worth the journey for them. However, in a musical climate where so much airtime is wasted on throwaway bars and the latest dance crazes, it's refreshing to see a duo like this making brave, honest music.
Brooklyn's Metermaids are making moves again. The past two years have seen the duo, comprised of MC's Swell and Sentence, appearing in the pages of print publications like Playboy Magazine and The Village Voice, as well as influential websites like Spin.Com and Wired.Com -- leading to thousands of new fans and their music being downloaded over 70,000 times. They have been both MTV.Com and Clear Channel Online "Artists to Watch," and the video for their song "Turn the Lights Out" was a Myspace Featured Video and also was added to rotation on Fuse TV. Metermaids' late-2009 EP "Smash Smash Bang" caught the attention of Grammy-Award-winning producer 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige), who brought Metermaids down to Raleigh, North Carolina to produce and record a new project in his studio. The result of this collaboration is the five song "Rooftop Shake" EP -- a thrilling combination of 9th Wonder's classic, soulful sound with Metermaid's rough-around-the-edges, rock-influenced style.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123