First came the song protesting Virginia prisons’ policy of putting Rastafarians in solitary confinement for refusing to cut their dreadlocks. Then there was the 2015 Libertarian theme to get the word out about state Senate candidate Carl Loser, who lost.
On his latest hip-hop track, Corey Fauconier asks listeners to “embrace things that are a little different” and jumps right to the hook.
“You can’t win it if you don’t get in it. So it’s Fauconier for Virginia state Senate. Lyrics are sick like I’m straight out the clinic. MSB produced so you know that WE GET IT!”
A 45-year-old Libertarian activist from Highland Springs, Fauconier, who goes by “Sage” when he performs, is a firm believer in music’s power to rally people behind a cause.
With just a few weeks to run an independent campaign against longtime Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, in a Jan. 10 special election in the heavily Democratic 9th Senate District, he’ll need a surprise smash hit.
A New York native who moved to the Richmond area after Sept. 11, Fauconier has had a variety of sales and customer service jobs and currently works as a manager at a company that transports railroad workers.
In his forays into politics, hip-hop is front and center.
“Delegate on Twitter talking hella spit. The Libertarian Party’s not having it. I got a right to bear arms, empty this lyrical clip. It’s a open carry state I’m not concealing it,” Fauconier raps in the song “Get In It,” which he released last week along with a lyrics sheet bearing his campaign logo.
In an interview, Fauconier, who supported Libertarian Gary Johnson in the presidential election, said he brings a fresh perspective and will work to appeal to the full range of political thought in the district.
“There are tea party folks. There are Republicans. There are independents,” he said. “You have to across the board address everybody. You can’t just call Democrats and be like, ‘Hey, it’s our district.’”
The Senate district covers much of central Richmond, extending east through Henrico County to include all of Charles City County and stretching north to Hanover County and Ashland.
Fauconier said he was inspired by Libertarian Robert Sarvis, who ran for Virginia governor in 2013 and U.S. Senate in 2014. He found the message intriguing, but at Libertarian gatherings, he was often the only African-American in the room. That, he said, was baffling.
“Because all African-Americans have ever said since the earliest time is we want freedom and we want liberty,” Fauconier said.
In a statement highlighting Fauconier’s run, the Libertarian Party of Virginia said he gives voters a chance to elect “a fellow community member” rather than the “‘Special Selection’ of next-in-line on the political ladder.”
Fauconier summed his view of Libertarianism as “the right to live our lives how we see fit.” A Rastafarian himself, Fauconier calls for ending the drug war in his new song.
“No prohibition so we can puff and pass. Place marijuana in the beer and wine class. Confident to drive with your personal stash. Tryin’ to end the black and blue clash.”
His views on personal liberty extend to education (he’s looking at home schooling), sexual orientation and gun rights.
“If the Democrats don’t like guns and they don’t want to own a gun, that’s their right,” Fauconier said. “But I don’t want the Democrats telling me, as the victim of a crime, ‘Well, Corey, you shouldn’t own a gun.’”
Fauconier’s political experience includes working communications this year for Libertarian J.J. Summerell, who finished third in a North Carolina congressional race.
Fauconier managed Loser’s 2015 campaign in the Richmond-area 10th Senate District. During that race, a child support dispute between Fauconier and his ex-wife briefly made headlines after Loser sent the woman a threatening email.
Reached via Twitter, Loser said the lyrics in Fauconier’s music “will reach members of the community that have been disenfranchised in the past.”
“Corey’s new song he released sounds excellent,” Loser said. “He is truly a talented gentleman.”
Part of his inspiration to run, Fauconier said, was simply giving voters a choice.
“If I sat at home and said, ‘Eh, somebody else is going to run,’ we would have been stuck with the Democratic selection, and not an election,” he said. “I think that was problematic.”