Sage Francis Gets The Cover Of His Dreams

Not only does the iconic hip hop artist have a new tour beginning in May, but the cover art for his new album was created by someone whose work you probably are familiar with.

Photo: Jeremiah Garcia /

Francis’ latest album – Li(f)e – includes material written by folks like Tim Fite, Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, Ex Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle and members of Calexico and DeVotchKa. The album also includes a contribution by Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, who committed suicide March 6. The subject matter on Li(f)e is pure Francis, with plenty of critiques regarding organized religion and cultural hypocrisy.

Then there’s the album cover, created by Shepard Fairey who created the famous Obama “Hope” poster, which was based on an Associated Press photo. Like “Hope” the cover art on Li(f)e is based on a photograph.

“I really wanted to get a Shepard Fairey album cover sometime in my career,” Francis said. “I eventually sent him a picture of me which was taken at my most destitute time when I didn’t have anything and I was crashing on my friend’s floor.

Click on the image to see the entire album cover.

“I was making music but I had to obscure the way I looked because it didn’t fit in with the way people thought hip hop was supposed to be. But eventually I just took this really ugly photo of myself in all my mutton chop biker mustache whiteness and made it my logo. And Shepard used that old photograph to make this amazing image for the album’s cover.”

Francis will perform songs from Li(f)e at Austin’s when he takes the stage for a late-night gig at The Independent March 18. The album is due in stores May 11.

The tour, which also includes B. Dolan and Free Moral Agents, begins in Cambridge, Mass., at Middle East Downstairs May 12. Burlington, Vt., is next on the road trip with a show scheduled for Higher Ground May 13. Other stops include Portland, Maine (May 14), Toronto (May 16), Detroit – (May 18) and Chicago (May 19).

Other cities on the tour include Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Calgary, Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas before finishing in New York City at Webster Hall June 25. Click here for more information.

Warning! Video soundtrack may be NSFW.