By Alex P80 Parks
Set to drop at 8:46 am on 9/11 (the exact time the first plane hit the World Trade Center in 2001), SageInfinite clearly has a message and some thoughts to share. The “rhyme terrorist” has returned to infiltrate the Sleeper Cell to give us a glimpse into the skewed visions and ideology of America as we now know it. This project links SageInfinite and producer Won87 for some thoughtful and charged lyrics over minimal, yet solid beats.
Sage: At the start, Won87 came with the idea since I’ve called myself the rhyme terrorist and we were both slept on heavily, he said, let’s call it Sleeper Cell. So he put the idea in my head, and I executed to the best of my ability.
Won87 creates a smoky jazz feel on “The American way.” The tone is like a psychedelic precaution for the listener. There’s almost an unsolved mysteries vibe to the beat. Sage outlines many issues and weaknesses in our culture that continue to plague our country. Sage spits:
“God Damn it, you darker then you a Terrorist.
shootin up schools throughout
America’s recent history
It’s a mystery.
I think I got it figured out,
Come on and sit with me,
I got answers..”
“False Flaggin (Mass Shootings)” Won87 flips what sounds like an obscure Japanese sample with a slick bass groove to keep Sage’s lyrics bouncing off the beat.
SageInf hits with the hook:
“Can’t even send my babies to school
Without worryin if classmates is carryin the tools.
Can’t even hit the mall just to ball,
active shooter on the scene,
people duck behind the wall.”
DRHH: You had a clear intention about the content of this album and the messages involved, but you don’t force a political agenda.
Sage: My goal is always to provide imagery through my music. Just to paint vivid pictures. As far as this album goes, I definitely don’t try to push my thoughts or views on listeners, but just to give them a glimpse into what goes on in my head. Im just displaying alternate thoughts and ideas.. Especially in a space that isn’t covered much nowadays in hiphop.
“The Football” has nothing to do with the NFL as Sage warns at the start. The reference is to the briefcase that is held by personnel near the President at all times, containing crucial information and potentially, the fate of nations. SageInf rhymes of the power and responsibilities inherent with lingering questions of legitimate justifications of such power.
“Nine Eleven” organs and drum fills lay the groundwork for Sage to deconstruct shoe bombers and twin towers. The beat comes at you like triumphant American pride, contrasting with Sage’s lyrics about in-flight terrorists.
Sage: 9/11 definitely had a huge impact on this country and the world and I feel like we’ve sort of been invaded due to the fear of not being safe and having security. I feel like hiphop has sort of been invaded the same way. Big business invaded under the guise of securing a future for artists and I think that a lot of the purity of the art was lost.
“Lockerbie” The title refers to the 1988 crash of Pan Am flight 103 into the Scottish town after a bomb exploded onboard. Won87 creates a foreboding mood, perfect for Sage to unleash some dope rhymes. His flow is smooth and crisp on this and he shows off his elevated rhyme schemes on this creeping beat that rises just enough.
The intro and interludes bind the tracks together with the underlying themes of corruption, terrorism and false propaganda along with the fears and paranoia associated. The entire project is handled by producer Won87 who provides no-frills beats for SageInfinite to delve into his doubts of American society and its myriad flaws.
Both of the bonus tracks, “Illuminati” and “NSA” make the physical release a must-cop. Won87 continues to establish the skeptical air and unsettled mood on both of these joints, which are as solid as the rest. The Art by Trevor Lang always increases the aesthetic value of the very-limited physical releases, and this is no exception.
This EP showcases Sage’s lyrical abilities in storytelling, connecting concepts and also staying in character at times. SageInfinite comes sharp with his rhymes, pairing quite nicely with Won87’s straightforward beats.
Cop the super limited cassette out on 9/11 here: