“Life is just lie with an f in it and death is definite.”
It’s surprising how one off-the-cuff lyric can become the mantra for thousands.
Such is the case with Paul “Sage” Francis and this simple observation from the 2002 song The Cure. Over the past eight years, the Providence, R.I., hip-hop artist’s words have proven so meaningful to fans that they have taken on a life (pun intended) of their own.
“The concept is something I followed from my fan base,” Francis admits. “That particular lyric resonated very strongly with a portion of (them). They started encapsulating that by spelling it (with) the f in parenthesis. It became the symbol of that lyric; that concept.”
Thanks to the devout enthusiasm of his followers, Francis felt compelled to utilize the line as the title of his latest full-length album, Li(f)e. Delving deeper into exactly what that statement could mean resulted in 12 diverse tracks featuring everything from straightforward hip hop to borderline indie rock, an approach Francis feels is as unusual and surprising as that which it endeavours to understand.
“Life isn’t a straight line and neither is this record,” he asserts. “It varies depending on the mood of what I’m saying. For the most part though, it’s (about) how we live life accepting certain lies for our own sanity. Some are good and some are bad, but it’s important that we stay aware of the myths, lies and falsehoods, weighing them against how they affect us as people. The driving force of a lot of this album’s content is discussing those things and how they apply to my life.”
Initially apprehensive about tying himself even closer to the ideology, Francis admits that as Li(f)e began to unfold, he realized that the album was more about appreciating his own vision than worrying about that of others.
“Everything came together and worked on multiple levels,” he sighs with relief. “I felt it was time for me to use that symbol of that life spelling and bring it full-circle.
“This album is my release; my escape since I can’t discuss this in an everyday conversation type of way.”