Sage, The 64th Wonder: A Hip Hop Hydra

Chicago's Säge, The 64th Wonder is a confounding individual. I was introduced to him by Big Breakfast who advertised The Säge as a quality rapper who takes pride in his live performance but lacks a solid internet presence. Now I'm no internet guru or anything like that but I do have a habit of helping people spread their sounds so Big Breakfast sent me a sampling of Säge sounds. Dark, gritty soundscapes composed of industrial production and snarled vocals - the sent sounds were decidedly alternative.

Exploring beyond his off-kilter sound, one is only faced with further wonder. His name alone remains a mystery to me. It was not until days after the interview that I realized Säge Yasuke was not a new name but rather the name assigned to the part of Säge responsible for production. But such a discovery barely satisfies the host of questions I have. In that sense, interviewing Säge is like trying to do battle with a hydra, each question you ask spawns a host of follow-up questions in its place. 

Sure, I get that there is the lyricist Säge, The 64th Wonder and the producer Säge Yasuke but who or what are the other Wonders? From what is Säge guarding this Shrine? What is the Shrine honoring? Just one question into the interview and I already had an additional interviews worth of follow-up questions. So, read on but be warned, by the interview's end you will be left with more questions than answers. Perhaps an additional interview is in order so we can further unravel the enigma(s) that is/are Säge, The 64th Wonder and Säge Yasuke. 

What is the significance of your name and how did you get it?

Säge: Säge, The 64th Wonder literally just represents me being The Säge named YASUKE who guards the 64th Shrine (or Wonder). The name came to me after my longtime bro Säge Nebulous gave me the title "Sage" upon forming the "SAGECLVN." So I started clean with a new discography apart from shintendo64 then transferred over to Säge, The 64th Wonder.

Who is Sage Yasuke and how, if at all, does he differ from Thomas?

Säge: Säge Yasuke is just the producer version of myself. A more dominant version.

Who are your inspirations both within and without hip hop?

Säge: Within hip hop, I would have to say MF DOOM, Ab Soul, Tyler The Creator, and The Juggaknots. Outside of hip hop, I'd have to say... my late grandfather.

OK-Tho: I'm sorry to hear he passed. What about him inspired you?

Säge: His business ethic and ambition to branch out.

Describe the path that led to your decision to become a hip hopper.

Säge: It started with many battles within myself honestly. Constantly switching back and forth with what I wanted to do with my life. First, it was Game Design then I switched to fiction writing. After dabbling in writing for so long it became easy to write bars. It was simple.

What’s a WAV Alchemist?

Säge: It's my version of being a sound scientist. I control wavs and can create emotions through sound. The alchemy of WAV.  Through wavs, there are frequencies and certain frequencies can trigger emotions. I kinda wanna venture into that realm.

If you could play someone three tracks to convey your sound, which three would you play?

Säge: Dragon of the Somersault Cloud (prod. Myself) - Through this song I would convey my frustrations with other MC who aren't original. Who lack creativity but still flourish.

UchihaSeji (prod. Myself) - This song I painted a picture of me as a shinobi from the hidden WAV village. UchihaSeji questing on an S-rank mission with his Uchiha Brethren.

The 64th Wonder (prod. Emperor Bohe) - The more recent of the 3 is a venting song describing  my brief but sincere stand for social injustice. I try to steer away from that shit, but it wouldn't have been natural if I didn't. 

If your discography could talk, what would it say?

Säge: If my discography could talk it would scold me because I constantly take music down. Rendering these Compilations incomplete to the average listener's first time listening to me. Haha. With the new wave of music I plan to drop that all will change.

What genre do you consider your music to be?

Säge: Well I call it #SageWav which is just a sub-genre of alternative rap if you will.

What are your top five albums?

Säge: Goblin - Tyler, The Creator
Doomsday- MF Doom
Long Term Mentality - Ab-Soul
Clear Blue Skies - The Juggaknots
Past Cloaks - Chester Watson

Are you an Emcee, rapper, or recording artist?

Säge: Lol an Emcee.

Do you make any other art outside of music?

Säge: I actually do slight programming work for little video games and I dabble in pixel art. Aside from that, I do graphic design (my project covers). 

Walk me through a typical day working on sagexdead.

Säge: Used to sip lean with the bros then smoke hella blunts. From time to time we swing by Uncle Remus and grab them G-Pens. We be set haha. The perfect starter pack to working on a project, aside from the lean. That would put mofuckas to sleep mad fast son. 

It was initially going to be a longer project, what made you decide to trim it down to an EP?

Säge: I wasn't too satisfied with what I had at the time. I'm just going to go back and remaster the shiet.

What do you think happens when you die?

Säge: We are trapped in an eternal dream.

What’s next for SageYasuke?

For Yasuke, he's just going to keep making beats for Säge haha. Unless he gets brought out for a guest feature he's just gonna remain in the shadows.

What about for Sage, The 64th wonder?

I'll be joining Vagabond Maurice on a Fall tour and just focusing on dropping singles to get my name out more. Not going to drop anything until Spring of 2017 project wise. Until then, I'm getting everyone in tune with the #sagewav.