**Note from the Artsweek editor: In the print version, Sabatage was proclaimed to be a DJ in the article’s headline. He is actually a rapper. Artsweek regrets this error.**
Usually on Sunday mornings, I wake up at noon with a hangover and tend to a killer headache. But this Sunday was different: I happily got up at 8 a.m., got dressed and headed to a Starbucks on State Street. I was meeting my favorite I.V.-dweller-turned-local-celebrity, Sabatage. His hits are played everywhere in I.V. and around Santa Barbara, so whether you’re a student looking for a clean red cup or a downtown socialite yelling his name trying to get into Tonic, you’ve heard of him. So, venti green tea in-hand (he got an iced coffee), the artist (real name: Saba Javahery) and I got down to business.
René: It’s been one year since you wrote “I.V. Song” and released Elevated Music. What can we expect from you in the near future? A new CD?
SABATAGE: As of right now I’m just working on bringing out single after single after single. Same thing as Elevated Music, everything is kind of in patches and in pieces. A song I’m gonna make, well actually it’s petty much made, I performed it at MGM in Vegas is called “White Girl Got Ass.” I performed it that Tuesday night at the Afroman show; it was the last song and the girls went bonkers. It got a really good reaction, the fact there was actually a song about Caucasian women; they were kinda proud of it.
There are other tracks, like there’s a track called “My Girl.” It’s going off Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick,” but I’m saying, “My girl is tighter than a virgin / Your girl gots roast beef curtains.” Giving props to a chick, and at the same time, not. Hip hop is always about degrading women, but I’m doing a spin on it by upgrading one and degrading the other.
The more shows I do and the more music I do I’m like, “Wait, I can do this myself.” But after the Afroman show, I realized how much he sucks, and how wack he is, and I can perform better than him. He’s just sloppy, fat and a piece of shit, and he’s not that tight. So why does he have more recognition than I do?
How is it being a promoter at Tonic? Especially because you’re there every Thursday, and sometimes you perform the “I.V. Song,” I’m sure it helps that a lot of your customers also happen to be your fans.
Obviously if my music sucks, no matter how popular I am at promoting, people still aren’t going to listen to me. At a nightclub it’s like the more events I do, the more music I do, the more popular I get with my music and the more popular I get with promoting. It just intertwines; it goes hand in hand, especially in a place that’s involved with drinking and music.
I don’t want to say that I’m the sole reason why Thursdays at Tonic do so well; the people at Tonic are hands down probably the closest connected coworkers I’ve ever worked with. From the owner to the bottle service girl, it’s all love. It’s just this vibe we have that at any other nightclub on Thursday night is just different. A lot goes into it; it’s not just me showing up and getting drunk. There’s a lot of pressure; there’s a lot of shit I have to do, and everything I do with my music is correlated with how people view Tonic.
What are your goals for this summer?
This summer, my goal is to finish my next album because before it’s done in 2009, I will be signed. I’m also gonna learn how to deejay. And if I can find the right people and the right group I’m going to register for mayor; it’ll be funny. I know that without even trying, I can get 4,000 votes (laughs).
Beside running for mayor, is there anything big coming up for you?
This is the first time that downtown Santa Barbara has ever seen a full performance from me on a Thursday night. It’s this Thursday, May 7. There’s going be a stage rented out, backdrops with my name on it; they’re going all out for me. It’s going to be absolute madness. There’s going to be a video shoot, camera crew; absolutely everything to fully represent how downtown runs, how I do shit and also how I perform and how Santa Barbara kids party.
Any last words?
Just get there before 11 p.m., because that’s when I go onstage. And bring your “A” game.