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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

2.9

Votes

11170

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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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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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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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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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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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

This checks all my boxes for rap/hip-hop: • political/social hip-hop • heavy organically sampled beats • jazz/funk music that can actually stand on its own • deep rhythmic vocals... If there are negatives, it's almost entirely around trying to jam a few too many words in places and making a few tracks sound awkward - to be fair, some of the lyrics are *very* awkward which had me waver between a 4 and 5...but I think even those slowdowns are worth it for the best material. Overall this album is a great example of the best of the golden age of hip-hop that almost sounds as much like Gil Scott-Heron (n.b. "Music and Politics" - love the music on this one as well, great guitar) as Public Enemy. Wish we had more of this. 9/10 5 stars. n.b. Apple Music missing 4 tracks from the album :/

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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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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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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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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 Dec 14 2023
3

Well that was a lot more intense than I was expecting. It was like a hip hop version of rage against the machine. The beats felt old but the lyrics were still relevant. I have never heard of this group but they made me sit up and pay attention.

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Tue May 11 2021
2

don't think it holds up today

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Thu Mar 25 2021
2

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

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Mon Sep 06 2021
2

I like the social commentary, but most of these songs just repeat the same words and go on for too long.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
2

Not as bad as I thought it'd be, but still not great.. Lyrics get a bit much after a while and instrumentals are uninspired

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Sun Mar 31 2024
2

I wish this was better. I appreciate the attempt at conscious rap, but the lyrics leave nothing to the imagination. It's just so on the nose and literal. The beats are fine, but this doesn't rise above its contemporaries by any stretch. There are just so many better examples of what this is trying to sound like.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
2

Was excited to see a hip hop album I didn't recognize, and encouraged by the Public Enemy sound. But the lyrics are simplistic to the point of stupidity. Socio Genetic Experiment was particularly bad - I had deeper thoughts about being mixed when I was 14.

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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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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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Thu Mar 28 2024
5

I loved this after nit hearing in for over 30 years. Incisively cutting about the state of the USA in 1992 using socially aware lyrics to create music with a powerful political message. I can't stand rappers who brag and the Heroes never do. Most of the issues they pointed out have not changed or you just substitute one name for another - social media for TV for example, so its still.as cutting and still as relevant today. They continue the valuable line from Gil-Scott Heron through Public Enemy. Loved it x

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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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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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Thu Mar 21 2024
3

Sadly dated, but see why it’s here.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
2

Didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
2

just kinda exhausting to listen to

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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 Jul 22 2021
2

Eh… idk… I feel like any profound radical edge this might have had at the time is kinda cliched and dated now. Like, the things he’s saying are still mostly true, it’s just they’ve been said a million times and mostly been done better

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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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Wed Nov 17 2021
2

Was just talking to my dad about the tipping point where increasing awareness of all humanity's biggest and darkest problems goes from motivating to parylzing. This album is an insurmountable list of problems. Suggesting solutions is cheesy. I suppose music and songwriting, in this reviewer's humble opinion, is better suited for nuanced storytelling rather than an artless list of high level grievances. Shout out to TDHoH for bringing attention to social determinants of health (Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk) a decade before the WHO got on board. Also I can't disassociate Michael Franti from his cornball solo stuff. Funny thing is you could put these cheesy lyrics in Zach De La Rocha's mouth and all of a sudden it feels important again. What can we do about any of this? Take care of those close to us. Make socially, environmentally, and fiscally informed consumer decisions. Support political candidates capable of passing policies to support basic human rights and equal opportunity. Dismantle a fundamentally unjust capitalist economy. Abandon all possessions and the concept of ownership. Surrender all (flawed) individual choice to an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, AI? Listen to Spotify. C+

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Fri Mar 22 2024
2

I can appreciate the political drive behind the lyrics, but they favor message over music to an extreme. Nothing here that other groups (before and after) didn't do better.

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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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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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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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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

I listened to this album so many times when it came out and was lucky enough to see these guys live. Being so familiar with the album I feel like all the tracks are my favourite but I like Satanic Reverses (for the geography history lesson), Television The Drug Of The Nation, Music And Politics, and California Uber Alles.

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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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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

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

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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 Feb 16 2023
5

Loves me some real political Hip Hop.

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

Incredibly straight upstanding political rap with very nice sampling and crawlen guitar/bass arrangements which suffered the fate of everything that provokes your good living and forces you to reflect your life: it gets ignored by masses who just wanna hear gang gore / from zero to hero blingbling stories. Capitalism is the thick carpet these ‚Heros of hiphopcracy‘ got disposed under. 4,6

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

9/10. Wow, these guys weren't screwing around.

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Fri May 26 2023
5

Absolutely unreal, have to listen again.

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Sat Aug 26 2023
5

Flawless, one of the best hip hop albums I have heard. Flow, lyrics, musical accompaniment, everything is great. Definitely a new favourite!

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Sat Sep 30 2023
5

This was incredibly rad and I hadn't heard this album before.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

Fantastic. Like Gil Scott Heron but with 90’s style production. Really clever lyrics. Might be the best surprise of this project so far.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

Of all the albums I've listened to so far, I think this one has been the biggest surprise for me. I had never heard of this group before, but this album is fantastic. It's an absolute masterclass in political hip hop. There isn't one weak song on here. "Satanic Reverses," "Famous and Dandy (Like Amos N Andy)," "Television the Drug of the Nation," and "California Uber Alles" are my personal favorites, especially the lyric "the only cola I support would be a union c.o.l.a." in "Television..." I would not have listened to this without this album challenge, and I'm so glad I was introduced to this group.

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Thu Nov 09 2023
5

Really enjoyable concept, political rap album

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Mon Dec 11 2023
5

Good shit, sounds like Chuck D a lot

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Ooooof Satanic Reverses goes hard. The production on this is terrific. 2:55 into Famous and Dandy, love the soothing synths that slide in. I really am digging the production on this one. This is like hip hop Gil Scott-Heron. This was fantastic, perhaps my favourite discovery of the 1001 yet. Fave Tracks: Satanic Reverses, Famous and Dandy (Like Amos and Andy), California Uber Alles 4.9/5

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

I really dug this. Didn't know about Michael Franti's pre- spearhead work, old school and excellent

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

This is such a fantastic album.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
5

I liked when rap espoused a philosophy of social justice.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
5

This is the comprehensible, well produced, incredibly intelligent polotical Hip Hop I wanted! The only drawback is the main interest is the lyrics, not the music, and as a result it can start to get monotonous if you're not paying attention, but still this is what I want hip hop to be.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

So surprising. This album was just fantastic from start to finish.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
5

Incredible sound and still salient prophetic lyrics.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

This is excellent. I knew the track 'Television is the drug of the nation' already, not sure where from, but the whole album was great. I was listening at work but kept getting distracted wanting to listen to what this guy was saying. Really cool

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

No idea how this had never crossed my path but I had never heard of this album before now. Was this written in 1992 or 2024? Sad that it is so relevant to the things we are dealing with today, and disappointing to see just how little progress we have made. If anything it shows that we've been stagnant or moving backwards for 30+ years. Love it.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
5

genuinely do not have the words. first time in this book i feel like i’ve found something really shaking and raw. want on vinyl, obviously. timeless in the saddest way.

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Sat Mar 09 2024
5

It’s not the greatest album ever. But the work here is important, hard to find, and still totally relevant to modern society. That alone marks this as essential listening.

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Sat Mar 09 2024
5

I forgot all about this band. Michael Franti is always good. And I love his political songs. First song was prescient af. Lyrically, this album is clearly influenced by Gil Scott Heron. The world needs more unapologetically fabulous political music. Corporate radio really obliterated the genre. Independent broadcasters were monopolized and destroyed. It’s not the greatest album ever. But the work here is important, hard to find, and still totally relevant to modern society. That alone marks this as essential listening.

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

Politisk Hip hop slår ju an alla strängar hos mig. Möjligen så mycket att jag inte kan bedöma kvaliteten. Men det är skitsamma för går ändå på känsla när jag lyssnar på musik. Så poesi, politik och rap vad kan gå fel. Television the drug of the nation! Herrejävlar vad bra den låten är. Socio-Genetic Experiment och California Uber Alles likaså. Det blir 5a.

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Mon Apr 01 2024
5

Along with Public Enemy's *It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back* and *Fear Of A Black Planet*, *Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury* has been my entry point into "conscious", militant rap during my formative teenage years. Therefore, this album will always hold a special place in my heart (and brains), even though stylistically speaking, it didn't *always* age gracefully. That said, Michael Franti's take on PE's Bomb Squad-produced sonic aesthetics still has its own merits and distinct flavours--a lot of them drawing from the "industrial" scene, actually--in keeping with Franti's lyrics drawing from the everyday static that America produced around the topics that "shook the nation" at the times. Franti's cold snarls about the latter very often hit the mark. And so does his music. Besides, you can't beat the incredible sequence of cuts that goes from "Television The Drug Of The Nation" to "Language Of Violence" to "The Winter Of The Long Hot Summer" to "Hipocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury". "Language Of Violence", in particular, is a master statement about internalized homophobia and how the use of certain words is always the starting point that leads to tragic ends for everyone involved in many harassment and abuse cases. A message that has lost none of its potency in 2024, and that actually foretold many needed societal changes, and the struggles that are still currently happening around them. The 15-year old boy that I was surely needed to listen to that song in 1992. Hence why the album it's from is "essential" to me (and should be for many other hip hop heads). I can't give a "real" 5 stars grade to this record because, as important as Franti's message against racist, corporate, and war-greedy "America" was, his vocal delivery admittedly might sound a bit stilted at times for today's ears--maybe because said message was admittedly more important than the artistic medium he used anyway. Musically, a couple of cuts might also be a little lengthy or lacking in welcome dynamics--especially on the second half. Yet I strongly advise everyone caring to know how The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy could actually be more versatile than they looked at first glance to explore this second half for at least three other gems. First for minimalistic jazzy outlier cut "Music And Politics", where Franti switches to an unexpected introspective and humourous mode to question his own political obsessions. Then for his awesome and bouncy "updated" cover of The Dead Kennedys' "California Über Alles"--roasting the sort of despicable figures that have pestered US politics for a long time now, very unfortunately, while also giving a heartfelt tribute to the old Bay Area punk scene. And finally, don't miss trippy, atmospheric closer "Water Pistol Man", its mesmerizing sample of Wally Badarou's "Leaving This Place", and Franti's last words of wisdom during its chorus. Sung, not rapped, here. Yet equally potent. Public Enemy's Chuck D once dubbed conscious rap "the Black CNN". But this album proves that during the early nineties, there was more than *one* channel to watch. And that they were *all* better than regular "television, the drug of the nation"... 4.5/5 for the purposes of this list of "essential record (rounded up to 5). Which translates to a 9.5/10 grade for more general purposes (5+4.5). Number of albums left to review: 242 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 329 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 194 Albums from the list I won't include in mine (many other records are more important to me): 242

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

A lyrical tour de force. With each track my impressions of this rose. The Apple Music version of this album had 4 tracks that were unavailable in this country it the album was good enough that I went and found the tracks on YouTube. Awesome

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Mon Apr 29 2024
5

Just an incredible album - both sonically and lyrically. Easily among my top five hip hop albums.

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Mon May 13 2024
5

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest rap or hip hop fan, but this was phenomenal. It reminds me of when rap was dangerous and had more to say than who has illegitimate children and who is on Ozempic. I’m curious to see how others would rate this, it’s not fun or light listening in terms of what’s being conveyed, so I can see a lot of people being dismissive or reductive, which is a shame because it’s pretty incredible. Instantly a fan of this and will listen often.

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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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