There is perhaps no other hip-hop artist working today who is both as self-aware and as self-deprecating as Sage Francis. The 38-year-old is a masterful, brutally honest lyricist whose heated-yet-poignant screeds are just as likely to tackle personal demons as societal ills. After becoming a highly decorated emcee battle veteran and a regular on the poetry slam circuit, Francis went on to become one of the highest-selling indie hip-hop artists of the genre. Four years after swearing he would never tour again, Francis hit the road last summer to promote his new album, Copper Gone. Francis being Francis, he is the first to make fun of himself, beating everyone to the punch with a parody press conference video in which he announced his return from his faux retirement with a new tour. The “reporters” responded by asking if he’s planning on playing any of his “old, good stuff” and why his tour mysteriously skips over Florida, Alaska, Canada, and much of the South. Lucky for us, the nation’s capital is still in Francis’ good graces this year. Sage Francis performs with Seez Mics at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $20. (202) 588-1889.