Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Non-Prophets

  • Hope [Lex, 2003] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hope [Lex, 2003]
From "Life's not a bitch, she's just sick of being personified" to "I attended candlelight vigils for Matthew Shepard/While you put out another fucking faggot record," Sage Francis seems sage enough, aesthetically and politically. But he's also the kind of hip-hopper who boasts, "I go to Fugazi shows requesting Minor Threat songs"--an old school purist insofar as he's a hip-hopper at all, with woman problems for club cred. So a nice round of applause for Joe Beats, whose fresh new sounds and spare old beats make "life of the search party," "scent of death threats," and "fairygodmotherfucker" seem like wordplay rather than the one-upmanship that is Francis's reason for rapping. B+