Music

Bearded Beats

Sage Francis and B. Dolan’s free EP is a team up of epic proportions

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Funky, fresh, timely and free; Providence rappers Sage Francis and B. Dolan have come together to lend us their rhythm and thoughts on just about everything. With a campy feel rooted in vintage imagery and sounds, the duo unite their conscious hip hop with equal parts dark humor, outright anger and social commentary as Epic Beard Men.

Trading off verses tinged with sharp criticism of the current state of affairs, Epic Beard Men balances its more serious leanings with a dose of humor and goofiness. There is the Star Trek-themed album art, song titles like “Not Ur Uber” and “DIYMFS” (do-it-your-mother-f---ing-self) and tracks laced with heavy live drums, vintage synthesizers, and back-spin mixing. Epic Beard Men: Season 1 is like a conversation between two old friends. While the traces of each performers’ solo work reveal themselves, the project is more clearly an outlet for trying out new sounds, different directions, and a shameless embrace of the things they love and love to hate.

From the get-go, Season 1 moves with energy and more thoughts than can be processed in a single listen. Epic Beard Men: Season 1 comes out strong with “Five Hearts,” a swaggering drum beat, swirling organ and more than a few contributing artists stepping on each other’s toes to get lines in. From there, each track takes the album into new territory with the same two familiar voices holding it all together. The album is available for free (in true DIY spirit!) through Sage Francis’ Strange Famous label.

More than just a Sage Francis or B. Dolan record, Epic Beard Men reflects a collective, shared mentality and explores just what that mutual perspective looks like. Is it a way to cope? A way to reconcile the world we live in? Disguised anger? Turning over a new leaf? Just two friends recording their barroom conversations?

Or is it the exploration of humor as the only way to truly make a point in 2018?