I remember when Michael Franti’s first album came out in 1992, under the awkward name Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. He was trying his damnedest to sound like Gil Scott-Heron and Chuck D. I wasn’t impressed.
Even then, he was more alt than hip-hop, covering Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles”... using words like “oxymoronic” and “agrarian”... rappin’ ’bout toxic waste and homophobia. But I wasn’t feeling his Bay Area hard-left vibe, even back then when I was sympathetic to such.
Well, Franti carved out his place in the music scene with Spearhead, a band with rock, reggae and funk elements that’s all about taking it to the stage.
I still wouldn’t call myself a Michael Franti fan. But he can put on a decent show. This December 2006 concert – uploaded by the Dutch website Fabchannel.com – took place at Amsterdam’s Paradiso.