Chicago rapper Sage, the 64th Wonder shows he’s still got gas in the tank with Hierophant | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Chicago rapper Sage, the 64th Wonder shows he’s still got gas in the tank with Hierophant 

click to enlarge Sage, the 64th Wonder

Sage, the 64th Wonder


When I interviewed Chicago rapper and SlumpGang member Receo Gibson a few years ago about changing his stage name from Sage, the 64th Wonder to Lunxch, he said he did it to help get out of a creative tight spot. “When I was under the moniker Sage, I felt, like, clustered,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do musically. I didn’t have no direction. It drove me into a panic, a mental panic.” Perhaps the break from that name provided Gibson with the new focus he desired: after a quiet 2020, he returned as Sage in February with the simmering EP The Gods Here Are Stupid, where he sounds re-energized. On his follow-up, May’s Hierophant (O-Go Sound Group), Gibson’s growling verses ride so low on the unvarnished boom-bap beats that the grit in his voice practically scuffs up their dusty samples and wrought-iron percussion. On “Talking Shoes,” he accompanies a looped sample that sounds like muffled strings with lyrics about the creative pressure cooker that musicians face when they’re trying to provide for a family—and the tension he creates by crowding his rapping up against the instrumentals ratchets up his ferocity and drive. By the end of Hierophant, it’s clear that Gibson has enough gas in the tank to power him to the next fill-up.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Popular Stories