Sage The Gemini and I are the same age and we both grew up in the Bay Area, which means our teenage years were shaped by the most important event in the history of Western music: the hyphy movement. Hyphy didn't really impact mainstream America beyond "Tell Me When To Go" and that one video of the dude getting carjacked while ghostriding, but it was the vibe for my specific regional generation. I'll never forget watching kids gas, break, dip in the high school parking lot, or the time "18 Dummy" came on at my eighth grade graduation party and we threw a jar of Red Vines all over the floor. Going dumb, as it were. Fast forward seven years—"Gas Pedal" is a viral smash, E-40 just dropped a triple album, and the Bay is once again a Camelot for minimal function music. Heartbreak Gang are the Knights of the Round Table; IamSu is Arthur and Sage his trusted Lancelot. Today the latter drops his debut album Remember Me like a sword thrust to the lizard brain pleasure center in charge of processing rap hooks. It doesn't matter if you believe me when I say its front-to-back heat; you'll hear for yourself out of every reputable car window this summer.
A few weeks ago I met Sage in the Manhattan offices of Universal Music Group. The charming, soft-spoken 21-year-old MC wore camo sweatpants and snacked on chicken wings while "Red Nose" blared in the hallway. He laughed easily and often. Discussion of his album made his olive-green eyes widen as if contemplating a brilliant distance. Now that horizon is upon us, and it slaps. Get familiar.
Noisey: Where’d you grow up in the Bay specifically?
Sage: Fairfield, California.
Word. I’m from Berkeley, actually.
Yeah? I was born in San Francisco.
When did you move out to Fairfield?
I was probably six, seven.
What was it like?
It was a lot safer than where I was. It’s a lot safer, a lot quieter.
What was going to high school out there like?
A lot of stuck-up kids. I was hella unpopular.
I went to a rich school and it was just filled with people that had the nicest shoes, a lot of shoes, and they had the nicest clothes and stuff like that. It was all about who had the most money and who was the prettiest.
Where did you mostly hang out?
I was in my room. I mean, I was always outside doing something. Mostly I was making beats.