Release Date: Mar 25, 2014
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Rap, Hardcore Rap, West Coast Rap
With YG and DJ Mustard referring to themselves as millennial analogues to Snoop and Dre, and artists both prudent (Drake, Trey Songz) and floundering (Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez) inching westward for a piece of Mustard’s sound, it’s easy to mistake L.A. for the center of the current West Coast rap resurgence. But further up the Pacific Coast Highway, Sage the Gemini and Iamsu! of the Bay area’s Heartbreak Gang collective have refined a sound that draws influence from frenetic dance-informed NorCal hyphy music and L.A.
Hook-filled, simple, and sharp, "Gas Pedal" is one of those nasty earworms that gets stuck in the head the first time it's encountered in the club or on radio, plus it comes with a dash of unique cool, which is that full-bodied soul strut California's HBK Gang bring to the table. Iamsu!, Chief, and P-Lo are members of that gang too, but after the 2013 release of "Gas Pedal," HBK member Sage the Gemini winds up first out of the gate with a major-label debut. Good choice too, as here he's overcoming all obstacles and quickly following up an excellent, yet lightweight, hit with a very good party of an album.
Sage the Gemini is one of the newest additions to the Bay Area's 17-man HBK crew, who are redefining what it means to be regional stars in the internet age. Powered by hiccupping handclaps and rampant West Coast hedonism, Sage's major-label solo debut follows the success of a hypnotic, viral, platinum-selling single, Gas Pedal, and a swiftly rising gold one, Red Nose. Sage isn't known for his versatility.
Bay Area rapper-producer Sage the Gemini is one of the most instantly rewarding beatmakers in recent memory. His rubbery tracks are a mix of Casio bloops, scribbly synth lines and little else. Appropriately, three-quarters of Remember Me, which is mainly produced by Gemini or his like-minded associate P-Lo, sounds great on iPhone speakers. But the rest of the album is too slow and soggy – a guy who mainly raps about shaking butts trying to show a musical range he doesn't have.
Bay Area rapper Sage The Gemini became a viral sensation after the release of Billboard Hot 100 singles "Gas Pedal" and "Rednose" in March 2013, and shortly after inked a deal with Republic Records. A year later, Sage has finally come through with his debut album, Remember Me.Surprisingly, beyond the strip club hits, Sage The Gemini puts (slight) emphasis on education. Opening up with the title track "Remember Me," he tells the story about being the nerd in school, which leads into the following track, "Bad Girl", which redefines a "bad girl" as a woman with a PhD.
Much like his West Coast contemporary Ty Dolla $ign, Fairfield, California emcee Sage The Gemini walks an exceedingly fine line between the ratchet and the melodious in his music. And seemingly oozing and flush with influences from both Northern California and New Orleans bounce Hip Hop, Sage’s debut Remember Me—though overly tedious and tame at times—is an airy, snappy, minimalist and infectious body of work. With a majority of the production coming from Sage himself and P-Lo of The Invasion, Remember Me stays wholly consistent pretty much from start to finish.
The virtues of simplicity are many, and also too easily dismissed. In hip-hop especially, where complexity is too often equated with progress, the straightforward can get a bad rap. And yet it’s music like this, distilled down to first principles, that moves the genre, and gives it many of its ….
Sage The Gemini might’ve been the most unlikeliest star of 2013 when it was all said and done. In a year where “twerk” became officially added to the Oxford Dictionary, Vine compressed Internet gems into six second clips, and streaming claimed king as music’s biggest profit, perhaps no one benefited as much from the change in the times than Sage The Gemini. His single “Red Nose” became last summer’s breakout hit, charming audiences with it’s hypnotizing allure, infectious hook, and grindtastic dance, spreading beyond it’s West Coast boundaries and onto the Billboard charts.