Sage Francis is from the Sean Daley school of underground hip-hop, full of tempered anger and frontier spirit. Kicking off with "Buzz Kill," the first track on A Healthy Distrust, Francis exhibits true grit through sarcasm, spitting, "I used to think that rappers had it figured out/Brass Monkey, St. Ides, Old English, and Guinness Stout." Idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Bonnie "Prince" Billy turns up for "Sea Lion," making for the best hip-hop/rock collaboration since the Gorillaz' "Clint Eastwood." Francis brags that he's an "Escape Artist," dismisses himself as a "Dance Monkey," and claims on "Lie Detector Test," "I'm a poor man's version of a rich man." This Clear Channel-hating, aggressively intellectual package should appeal to college kids around America who wish they could rap like a latter-day Robert Lowell.
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