The Blues-infused rap song "Got Up This Morning" is set to a relaxed honky-tonk beat, and is lyrically complex compared to the other rap offerings available on mainstream radio. A backroom poker table is the setting for Francis and his gambling buddies, which include Slug from Atmosphere, Buck 65, Brother Ali, and Divinci from Solillaquists of Sound. We spoke to Sage about the video...
Watch: Sage Francis "Got Up This Morning"
Sage Francis: Do you enjoy the process of making a music video?
"It feels fresh. A whole new process than I am used to. Such a massive production. I know it doesn't always have to be that way to make a good video, but that's how this video was run. Made me think, "Damn...damn...lots of people doing a lot of things to serve one purpose. Yikes." Haha. It definitely removes you from the music a bit to have all the cameras around, but after a while I think everyone eased into it and had fun just being part of the project. Many friends in one location...that's fun."
MVW: What was the vibe on set... working with Stoney, his crew?
SF: "Well, Stoney and his crew were complete professionals. They were very focused on getting quality work done in a timely manner. I really didn't even expect the kind of environment I walked into. Beforehand, Stoney and I worked on the treatment and then he told me we'd be filming in a warehouse he sought out. So in my mind I was envisioning some lights and some props to go along with the story of the song.
Instead I walked into what looked like 3 movie sets. It was crazy. All these different rooms completely pimped out. I can't even imagine how much preparation and work it took to get things to look the way they did in such a short amount of time. The crew composed of people who do this kind of stuff for a living, rather than a bunch of people who are interested in learning how to do it. I don't know if that makes sense, but I'm used to videographers being surrounded by people who aren't really on top of their craft...this was a whole other story. I mean, the make-up ladies are from the Lord of the Rings movies (they had some great anecdotes about that.) It was humbling. I had to just sit there and let them do their thing and trust that everything was being taken care of because it was."
MVW: ...the inspiration for "Got Up This Morning"? Did you have the idea of working with another artist when you wrote the song?
SF: "I had a couple different versions of that song before I settled on the song that's available now. I didn't write the story that exists now until Jolie Holland layed down her vocals and played fiddle over the music."
MVW: How did the process work on recording the song with Jolie Holland?
SF: "Well, we found ourselves hanging in LA at the same time so we decided to make use of our time. I played her some of the music I was planning on using for the album. The Buck 65 beat for 'Got Up This Morning' was right up her alley. So Jolene at Epitaph Records hooked us up with her boyfriend's recording space. She did a couple takes. Then I flew back home to RI with her recordings, wrote the song, recorded it, mixed it and bam...there it is."