It is undeniable: Sage Francis thinks that he’s a prophet. There is a gap, however, between what he thinks of himself and how that image comes through on A Healthy Distrust. On his fourth album, he simply cannot escape the fact that he is a white rapper from Rhode Island. Expounding important views on politics, drug use and problems with the music business, Francis pokes holes in right-wing logic with intelligent execution. However, he lacks originality both in approach and delivery. His undeniable sense of self-importance and unfocused messages are what cost him points in the prophet department. He struggles and ultimately fails to overcome his novelty act status. On A Healthy Distrust Francis spins his lines over calculatedly gritty beats, but even the strongest tracks don’t make up for the album’s lack of direction.

Music Reviews
Sage Francis performs at the Blind Pig last spring as part of the “Fuck Clear Channel Tour.” (MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily)

For all his wit, Francis occasionally explores clich

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