Michael Franti has been making music for a long time under a variety of guises. He first started out as a member of the San Francisco band the Beatnigs in the late 80's. When that band fell apart after a couple of records, Franti created the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and recorded the record HYPOCRISY IS THE GREATEST LUXURY, which is one of the great overlooked hip hop albums of the last 15 years. Hip hop has become the voice of the current generation and today has dissolved into a celebration of money, sex and fame. This album is the antithesis of that. Franti takes an industrial style of music and mixes it with socially conscience lyrics on Sexuality, Government action on poverty, and the evils of former Governor of California Pete Wilson. Franti holds nothing back and it makes for fascinating listening. One of the highlights is the track "Television, the Drug of the Nation" which was originally a Beatnigs song here reworked to add snippets of TV Commercials throughout this lament of th evils of the box. Another is a cover of the Dead Kennedy's "California Uber Alles" which samples Jello Biafra's original. If you are into hip hop and are looking for something different this is a good place to start.
(mp3) Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy -- Television, The Drug of the Nation
(mp3) Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy -- California Uber Alles
(mp3) Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy -- Language of Violence
After the dissolution of the Heroes, Franti formed the band Spearhead. While the socially conscience aspect of their music is the same, the style of very different. Taking a much more organic approach to music, Franti opted to record with a live band and use more traditional guitar and drum arrangements. The band is still making records and has some tracks for download on their website.
(mp3) Spearhead -- Yell Fire!