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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy

1992

Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

Album Summary

Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury is the debut album by alternative hip hop crew The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, released in 1992. Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury was met with critical acclaim. "Television, the Drug of the Nation" was released as a single. It was recorded previously by Michael Franti's first band, the Beatnigs.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.96

Votes

5146

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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Sun May 02 2021
1

society, television phone bad

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Fri Sep 03 2021
3

Started out hearing this as an adorable Public Enemy impression minus the Basquiat explosiveness, but it quickly impressed its own qualities, starting with the lyrics. "The only cola that I support would be a universal Cost Of Living Allowance", "Not a single TV station showed dissension / Or made mention of the censorship of information", "The kids don't get diplomas / They get used for gunboat diplomacy" probably aren't the best here, just the ones I wrote down. Once I saw them typed out, the differences from PE started to emerge. Chuck D is the militant orator, proselytising mid-battle and on the hoof, but Michael Franti raps like he's in a lecture theatre, reading verbatim from his painstakingly written notes. After that, the music starting to signify: contemplative, repetitive but soothing, carefully organised to sound like the antithesis of the stupefying and haphazard media misinformation that's got Franti so pissed. Chief among the musical gifts here is Music and Politics. A totally surprising all-timer (on firsall-timer jazz rap that can hang with the best of its type. Scored big for The Winter of the Long Hot Summer too. Never hurts when the 7 minute track is one of the best.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

A fine example of what is called Rhythm & Poetry. The production has a lot of the common places of the times but works exceedingly good. But is the message that carries this to other level, damn those lyrics are powerful. MC states everything he wants to say with carefully and in a most direct way. Makes me sad that the diagnosis this lyrics correctly carry has more than 20 years around and situation has only gotten worse. This, I needed to listen before I died.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Hip hop with a message, most definitely. I'm instantly a fan. Hip hop is the only genre of protest anymore. This is from 1992, but even then - mainstream music has little to no message, but that is not the case with music like this. The lyrics here are a lot to take in. They are critical, but not afraid to be self-critical. There are injustices and cultural/social problems that affect all people. Its a classist society that created a racist society, so he takes aim at the racism by bringing up the elites control the narrative through money, sports, media, television, etc. Language of Violence is going to be my go-to as a father of young kids (obviously not sharing the full song with them for years to come). Dehumanizing the victim makes things simpler. Mob mentality, all of it. Really thoughtful here and terribly tragic. This album was a masterpiece. There are two tracks not listed on the YouTube playlist, a "cover" of Dead Kennedy's California Uber Alles and Water Pistol Man that I suggest be sought out if you listen to this album.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

This album has only two issues that I think would bring it down to a 4: bloat and availability. With great political rhyming, immersive soundscapes, and a unique vocal performance, I think this album is of particular note when looking at the grand scheme of things.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

Class album, similar vibes to public enemy. Just maybe a song or two too long

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Fri Dec 04 2020
5

Not Bad. Actually good. Message is good, and topical. 4.5

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

Siempre los topé porque en la hagiografía de Nirvana se sabe que abrieron algunas fechas. Ahora veo que suenan a un Public Enemy que samplea Talk Talk, capaces de tener groove, con un flow mitad Gil Scott-Heron, mitad Chuck D. Sampleos brillantes, la neta. Todo de lo que cantan ya es como lugar común liberal, pero en su momento sí estaba rompedor.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

Wow! I never heard of these guys before. Very powerful

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Sat Jul 03 2021
3

I want to like this more than I did, I appreciate these themes in hip-hop but the lyrics are so bop-you-over-the-head that there's no nuance and it isn't interesting at all to me. Sounds alright though.

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Sun Mar 21 2021
3

Not a big fan of this one. It feels more like a monologue over a beat more than a rap album.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
3

Edgy will smith

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Mon May 03 2021
3

"Television, the Drug of the Nation" was the only song that sounded familiar. This was a new album and artist for me. I liked it more than I thought I would. The opening track, "Satanic Reverses" was my favorite track, followed by "Television...". Some of the tracks were hard to distinguish from the next track. It was good to hear this album, but I'm not sure that I'd listen to the whole thing all at once again.

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Sat Jul 10 2021
2

It's socially conscious rap, which I'm usually into. The guy has a nice voice, and at its best, it reminds me of Public Enemy, but this album needed a good producer in the worst way. The beats are uninteresting, some of the flows are wack, and he needs to do something besides repeating the name of the track for every single hook. Some of them are catchy, many are not. For example: "Medical racist social statistics / Has everyday life become a health risk?" doesn't even mean anything, and he says this same phrase like 20 times in an otherwise pretty good track. I think my major problem with it is that he can be clever, but he thinks everything he says is clever, and there's a difference. Best track: Satanic Reverses

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Thu Mar 25 2021
2

Did not enjoy. Just not in the mood for political rap

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Thu Feb 11 2021
2

4 songs unavailable on Spotify. I'm not liking this so far...talking over a beat with verbal samples mixed in.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
2

Political hip hop - seriously needs some editing. Best Tracks: Television the Drug of the Nation, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, California Uber Alles

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Thu Nov 04 2021
2

Something about this really just didn't click with me. I think the beats were great, and I found the subject matter important stuff to discuss. I just don't think the MC had the skill or charisma to make what he was rapping about not sound super preachy and condescending. Oh well.

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Thu Sep 17 2020
5

Dope!

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

"Satanic Reverses" would've been a favorite of mine back when this was released. It's a damn shame I missed out on this album at the time. "Television the Drug of the Nation" is another highlight.

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

Straightforward, yet so deep.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Great lyrics. Jazzy melodies. Current

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

This shit was dope from start to finish!

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Really good lyrics

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

fantastic album, highly recommened.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Smart, well-produced, and good!

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Fri May 07 2021
5

The kind of hip hop I really like, jazzy beats and deep, meaningful political lyrics, will probably have this on repeat for awhile

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Remarkable for 1992. Style a little like Blue Scholars. Really good.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

wow barras

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

Loved this album! So introspective

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Este disco debe estar entre mis discos favoritos de hip-hop especialmente de los 90s. El sonido es emblemático, cuando se escucha de inicio parece simplemente que suena a todos los grupos de su momento, esas trompetas tipo Cypress Hill que a veces se atisban, los ritmos rápidos, agresivos pero sin sonar del todo a Gangsta Rap aun. Sin embargo con un poco de atención hay muchísimo más trabajo y composición, sonidos de jazz que vienen al frente sin hacer que se sienta una fusión ni quitando energía. Las letras son excelentes, tienen ese componente de importancia a problemas sociales, con caracter, sin tratar nada más de escucharse como si fuera "este es rap pero con mensajito". En realidad me parecen composiciones que líricamente se pueden sostener a sí mismas como si fueran poemas aun sin la música. Un disco casi desconocido que de verdad se debiera escuchar al menos una vez.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Excellent, political, trueschool hiphop. Taking a lot of inspiration from PE but much cleaner production.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Great album. Beautiful chaos, ha. Some intense instrumentals which matched well with the content of the lyrics. It's interesting to hear Michael franti in this genre - really only known him with his upbeat songs

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

What a discovery! Brilliant!

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

A halfway house between The Clash and Rage Against the Machine, that refocuses hip-hop's anger against the establishment and corporations. Still as relevant today as it was 30 (!?) years ago.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

Still topical

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Sun May 01 2022
5

Now that's a hip hop album I could listen to all day. Political sophisticated lyrics, that couldn't be more relevant with beautiful low beats that's suits today's music Definitely not 90s recognizable . Nothing more to say. Just perfect!

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

Damn this is good. Powerful. Smooth grooves over deep lyrics. It's like Rage Against the Machine if the rage was expressed over smooth grooves with a relaxed rap flow. Seriously impressive album and the first rap album I'm rating a 5 (aside from Rage, which I consider to be more rock/metal anyway). Favorite tracks: pretty much all of them, but standouts are Satanic Reverses, Famous and Dandy (particularly the "flavor of the month" section), Television the drug of the nation, Financial Leprosy, and Water Pistol Man.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
5

Amazing album amazing band. I count myself lucky I got to see them live

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Mon Aug 01 2022
5

Like a cross between Gil Scott Heron, Public Enemy and a talk at the Trades Hall. Christ it's prescient though - the first track has a chorus about politics being corrupt, in thrall to the religious right and everyone getting poorer... 30 years ago. Plus ca f*cking change. I love it, but then I am a moderate socialist who is increasingly feeling forced to think that killing all politicians and CEOs might be the only answer.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

Hating America done right

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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

Essential sound of the 90s and of all time really. 5/5

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Sun Oct 30 2022
5

cool

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

Jesus this album hits a little too hard. We've really learned nothing in the last 30 years, huh?

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

I first heard Michael Franti and Spearhead at a music festival a decade or so ago and was struck by his wide range of social justice coverage and insightful lyrics set to some great beats. I started this album not knowing I was listening to Michael Franti, but after the first few lines of “Satanic Reverses” I pulled up the lyrics and saw his name there. I knew there was something familiar about this. Wow. The album is incredible. Entertaining. Enlightening. Reflective. Maybe prophetic? A window into life in 1992 that reflects clearly on us today. I was compelled while listening to just to stop and follow the lyrics. Michael Franti’s voice is just as powerful in his 20s as when I watched him perform in his 40s. His formidable talents serve up justice, education and illumination. Hip hop’s power channeled as a force for good. I wish I had been exposed to this 30 years ago when it was new, and wish more people were aware of it now.

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

"Being kicked in the closed mouth Or smiling with no teeth They're both choices, yes But it's impossible to eat" Oof. Why haven't I ever heard this before? I have some theories... Really great early 90s hip-hop sound with lyrics that are still too relevant. I would understand if folks thought it preachy but I'm in the choir so I say, "testify!"

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

I enjoy what Michael Franti creates. I will admit that The Disposable Heroes did not draw me in quite the way that Spearhead does, but the album was a winner.

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

This was indeed "Music and Politics." I thought the music was quite good, and the poetic rap lectures touched on so many crucial issues of 1992 that are all still crucial issues thirty-one years later. I nodded my head quite a lot through this. "Language of Violence" is one of the best treatments of the issue I've ever heard. "Water Pistol Man" ended the album with a positive message and metaphor for the overwhelmed...which we needed. Because honestly this did get on the verge of heavy-handedness and I was feeling that I was in a lecture hall and needing a break. This isn't an album I'm going to put on again unless I want to use it as a teaching piece. Michael Franti himself described what I was feeling when he discussed forming his next band: "The big problem with Disposable Heroes was that it was a record people listened to because it was good for them - kind of like broccoli. I want Spearhead to be more like sweet potatoes."

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

This dude was ahead of his time. Better musical poetry than most

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

In the vein of Public Enemy. I like the atmospheres created here. Wish this style of social/political protest music was able to catch on more.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Never done heard it before. It’s great

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

The scary thing is a lot of this could have been written yesterday, almost 30 years later. I enjoyed the intensity and clarity of purpose.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

Lo triste de escuchar este disco es ver que no mucho ha cambiado desde 1992 respecto a los problemas sociopolíticos, pero también, extrañamente, se sienten envejecidos ciertos reclamos, quizá más por la forma que por el fondo (ejemplo: esto de la televisión como la caja idiota, pues está un poquito pasado de moda). En ese sentido, sería interesante una "actualización" del disco. Musicalmente, me gusta que haya distintos beats, hace que el disco suene diverso e incluso se permite desvíos más importantes como en "The Winter of the Long Hot Summer" o en "Music And Politics". El final del álbum también es un poco dark. Disfruté sobre todo "Langue of Violence", "Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury" y "Socio-Genetic Experiment". 7.5/10

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Sun Jan 31 2021
4

Great beats. Michael Franti does his rapping professor thing. TIL Charlie Hunter was involved with this. Dead Kennedys cover is great too. Spotify is missing some of the tracks but I found them as uploaded videos in YouTube.

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

3.9 - the lyrics on this record read more like an issue of the Economist than a rap album. Songs deal with a very broad swath of hot button “controversial” issues of the era - immigration, environment, homophobia, television, consumer culture, fame obsession, fundies, white supremacy...these issues are still very much ones that plague us today (with the exception of television). In terms of sonics, there’s much to admire. Vocals are put way way out in front of the mix and the lyrics punch through crystalline clear. MC delivery is smooth and even. Much preachier, much headier, much more left leaning politically, more forward-thinking especially in its condemnation of homophobia, not especially violent or menacing in a physical manner, less gangsta, more well read, drawing in historical perspectives. At the same time, there are lots of dilentattish moments where he gets a little lost in his own head. Also the production/beats on some of these songs is often tinny and basic. For all its strengths and warts, I can say it sounds unlike any other hip hop album I’ve heard.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

No sé, nunca había escuchado algo así, hip-hop como con jazz e industrialón (?). No me desagradó, pero no sé si la novedad es suficienate para que los vuelva a escuhar. Me gusto Satanic Reverses y Water Pistol Man.

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Sun May 30 2021
4

3.8 maybe very Public Enemy

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

Interesting to listen to some of Franti's earlier stuff. I enjoyed it a lot, but still think to really appreciate him as an artist you need to see him live.

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Whole thing isn't on spotify. I'm not sure why. I actually enjoyed what was on there more than I thought I would.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

I C U

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

Top album. Touches upon themes and topics that feel very different from other hip hop albums I'm familiar with, great structure and the instrumental side hits on pretty much every track.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

It was great to finally get a hip hop album

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

I was unfamiliar with them tbh which is a shame. Going in I was very intrigued by the album art. This was great, definite 4 stars. I dig the music and everything, plus the lyrics are fantastic. And in a weird bit of timing, I saw an old concert lineup flyer for a club this morning and the very first band listed was this one. (others: Public Enemy, RATM, Redman, KMFDM, Pantera, No Doubt, FEAR)

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Political art in the form of music! I just wish Spotify had the full album. Absolutely love it! I’m also finding it hard to believe this is the same guy from Spearhead. Favorite tracks are “Satanic Reverses” (I’m a sucker for any jazz tinged hip-hop) and “Television The Drug of the Nation”.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Not every song available on spotify

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Sun May 16 2021
4

Wow. Powerful, direct, and fearless lyrics that were also philosophical and, at times, prophetic. Starting with satanic verses Tv and Garage beats with a unique sound.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

It's pretty incredible to listen to a hip hop album from 92 that is this scathingly critical of raps tropes from that era (like the homophobia, predilection for violence, capitalist boasting, etc). And it's all backed by a very fascinating collection of jazzy, bluesy yet at times industrial beats. It's a great and truly prescient album. You'll be shocked at how relevant the lyrical work is from the very get go and it's a great shock.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Revolutionary hip hop. kinda like a mix of Gil Scott heron and rage against the machine. no stand out song unfortunately

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

4/5 - good for what it is and what it was

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

Sick! Pretty sure this is Chuck-D from Public Enemy... Sounds like him. Maybe a side project? Decent, political hip-hop, gotta love it! 4/5

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Wed Aug 04 2021
4

Great lyrics, but it doesn't flow as well as songs

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

interesting album with alot of smart content

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Fri Aug 27 2021
4

This is pretty dope. Some hard truths on here that is still felt today.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

Oooh heerlijke rap vol politiek, bartje wou dat hij zo hard kon spitten

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

Cool ! Alleen te lang

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

Amazing that the message is still relevant. TDHoH, PE, BDP, KRS-ONE, Marvin Gaye… etc - the list can just go on and on. Black political music has long been speaking truth to power and yet goes unheard. I hope that messages like this will no longer have to be recorded.

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Tue Sep 07 2021
4

Favs: Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, INS Mehs: Water Pistol Man This is the first album we've had where I'd never heard the album or artist at all before. I liked it more than I expected. I particularly like his rapping voice and how it flows and his lyrics. "The problem has never been our political logic but the way we enact it We can imagine a perfect society but can't maintain a decent relationship The failure found in the luxuries not in the hardships." Pretty good stuff.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Old school hip hop, very political lyrically covering societal issues, global events / politics. Some interesting beats with unique elements, first track has a lot of Jazz Sax playing with the drum beat. Spoken Word style delivery on the lyrics, every now and then he "sings" a bit but mostly very monotone even-keel delivery, but that works because the content seems to be pretty deep. I enjoyed this, though it's a very long album with the majority of songs 6 minutes or longer. Back half kicks up the energy a bit, and has more classic hip hop, still keeps the political messaging but a bit more focused on the beats. California Uber Alles is a great takedown of the governer at the time this album was out. A lot of the messaging still applies today about stripping social programs and stuffing the pockets of the rich, not much has changed.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Very lyrically heavy hip hop. Definitely some cool tracks.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

fun album, i’ll give it a 7/10 that’s gotta be the preachiest album I’ve ever heard, but honestly he made plenty of good points. I really liked Music and Politics, those were cool instrumentals to rap/sing over. and then Television, The Drug of the Nation was just a straight up classic. I’ve never been a huge old-school hip-hop fan (which is apparent in my previous reviews) i’m not too critical on it, it just isn’t really for me. This album was unique and had a lot of personality so that’s why i’m giving it the 7/10.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

ну классный хап чо, есть конечно поинтереснее варики лично для меня - трайб колд квест например, но это дело вкуса.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

Whoa, these guys come right at us, don't they. I like it. It totally works for what they're doing. Powerful lyrics and the music is fantastic they create to support them. Very cool rhythms and instrumentals; quite a departure from most hip hop/rap I've heard (which, admittedly, is not a significant sample size). My only real criticism is the lyrics sometimes seem to me to be a bit heavy-handed, but that's forgivable in this context. "Music And Politics" is so cool; reminds me of Beatnik stuff but sounds much more contemporary. I really want to check out their other album (looks like they made only two...too bad; I would LOVE to hear their artistic take on current times).

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

“Michael Franti's "intellectual grasp thrusts him immediately into pop's front rank.” I BLOODY LOVE MICHAEL FRANTI.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

Ah man, i've got to make notes as I listen rather than a week later, so I've re-listened. This is industrial, alternative hip hop, with some great samples. Very well produced, with interesting themes.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

I didn't listen to hip hop until recently so I'm late to the game. Really enjoying the 90s rap & hiphop scene. Enjoyed this album though by the last two songs, it was blending together. Great lyrics. Great propulsive beat. Added to my collection.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
4

Pretty good. Took me a while to get into. But once you're in, you're in.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

This is such a well thought out album. Every track on here had a message, the lyrics were incredible. Felt like a mix of rap and spoken word. I enjoyed this album a lot Favourite songs: Satanic Reverses, Socio-Genetic Experiment, Music and Politics

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Fri Jan 21 2022
4

Preach

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

p686, 1992. 3.5 stars, leaning towards 4. Came to this absolutely cold. Don't usually like rap or hiphop but this was surprisingly good. Excellent production and accessible. Would happily listen to this again.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

Quite liked this. Seemed simple but that made it easy to listen to, and for him to get his message across. "The Winter of the Long Hot Summer" and "Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury" my favourite tracks.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

very interesting album. talks about some deep stuff. was pleasantly surprised at how much i liked it

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Cool instrumentals with politically charged lyrics. I dig it. Favourites: "Television The Drug Of The Nation", "Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury", "Music And Politics"

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

enjoyed the sound!

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Wow! I really liked this album. Great stories and told clearly (disclaimer, my suckass hearing needs discernable words). Hit me in the intellectuals with his thoughtful approach to describing the modern hypocrisy

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Thu May 19 2022
4

Solo conocía "Television, the Drug of the Nation" por ser teloneros en las giras de U2 y Rage against the machine. Pero el disco en general empieza bien con "Satanic Reverses" , "Famous and Dandy (Like Amos and Andy)" y "Television, the Drug of the Nation". Después también estan bien: "Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury", "Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk" y "Music and Politics". El disco es hip-hop de los 90, fue importante en su momento y como referencia general está bastante bien para mi gusto, pero no creo que sea algo imprescindible para la mayoría de la gente.

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Sun May 22 2022
4

this is one hell of a Rap album..like nothing I've heard before. Highly political but globally so. Their song Television; The Drug of the Nation is jaw droppingly good. And other songs are just as intelligent. The vocals are fantastic...deep resonant, sounding at times like Chuck D but with more soul. The songs are musically interesting and yet easily accessible. Unfortunately Tidal has blocked 3 or 4 songs so I will have to find the album on youtube to get the full experience (I'm especially looking forward to hearing their take on the Dead Kennedy's California Ales.) As it is it's a 4.5 star album

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Thu May 26 2022
4

Very nice!

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Oh yeah, this is great! Nascent industrial hip-hop. I was familiar with "Television, The Drug of the Nation" of course, but hadn't heard anything else by them. It's a little bit clunky in places so not quite 5 stars, but I appreciate the experimentation... Fave track - "California Über Alles" - gotta love some Dead Kennedys getting recycled!

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

This takes itself so damn serious, it's more a lecture than an album. It was sometimes jawdropping how relevant it all is 30 years later. All these fears from 1992 are still a big problem or have come to fruition. Hong Kong troubles (Satanic Reverses), code-switching and black minstrelism (Amos and Andy), TV propaganda (TV the Drug), war as theater (Winter), racial health disparities in San Francisco (Everyday Life), upside-down public spending (Financial Leprosy), smarmy gov wants to be prez (CA Uber Alles).... on one hand, it makes me think it's not so bad now if it was always this bad. On the other hand that's damn depressing. I can't give it a 5 in my arbitrary rating system because it's not a lot of replay value. But damn this is a good one. I had no idea about Michael Franti's prior incarnation as a worthy peer of Public Enemy.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
4

Not a fan of hip-hop, for the first time I found myself able to actually listen to the lyrics. While the music might be a tad repetitive, their words managed to convey a strong message. Just like poetry. Makes me sad their social critique is still on point 30 years later.

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