society, television phone bad
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.
society, television phone bad
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Did not enjoy. Just not in the mood for political rap
Class album, similar vibes to public enemy. Just maybe a song or two too long
Not Bad. Actually good. Message is good, and topical. 4.5
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.
Wow! I never heard of these guys before. Very powerful
Not a big fan of this one. It feels more like a monologue over a beat more than a rap album.
Edgy will smith
"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.
don't think it holds up today
Didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped.
just kinda exhausting to listen to
4 songs unavailable on Spotify. I'm not liking this so far...talking over a beat with verbal samples mixed in.
Political hip hop - seriously needs some editing. Best Tracks: Television the Drug of the Nation, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, California Uber Alles
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
I like the social commentary, but most of these songs just repeat the same words and go on for too long.
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.
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
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+
"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.
Straightforward, yet so deep.
Great lyrics. Jazzy melodies. Current
This shit was dope from start to finish!
Really good lyrics
fantastic album, highly recommened.
Smart, well-produced, and good!
The kind of hip hop I really like, jazzy beats and deep, meaningful political lyrics, will probably have this on repeat for awhile
Remarkable for 1992. Style a little like Blue Scholars. Really good.
Loved this album! So introspective
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.
Excellent, political, trueschool hiphop. Taking a lot of inspiration from PE but much cleaner production.
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
What a discovery! Brilliant!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Amazing album amazing band. I count myself lucky I got to see them live
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.
Hating America done right
Essential sound of the 90s and of all time really. 5/5
Jesus this album hits a little too hard. We've really learned nothing in the last 30 years, huh?
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.
"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!"
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.
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."
Loves me some real political Hip Hop.
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
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 :/
9/10. Wow, these guys weren't screwing around.
Absolutely unreal, have to listen again.
Flawless, one of the best hip hop albums I have heard. Flow, lyrics, musical accompaniment, everything is great. Definitely a new favourite!
This dude was ahead of his time. Better musical poetry than most
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.
Never done heard it before. It’s great
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
3.8 maybe very Public Enemy
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.
Whole thing isn't on spotify. I'm not sure why. I actually enjoyed what was on there more than I thought I would.
I C U
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.
It was great to finally get a hip hop album
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)
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”.
Not every song available on spotify
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.
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.
Revolutionary hip hop. kinda like a mix of Gil Scott heron and rage against the machine. no stand out song unfortunately
4/5 - good for what it is and what it was
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
Great lyrics, but it doesn't flow as well as songs
interesting album with alot of smart content
This is pretty dope. Some hard truths on here that is still felt today.
Oooh heerlijke rap vol politiek, bartje wou dat hij zo hard kon spitten
Cool ! Alleen te lang
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.
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.
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.
Very lyrically heavy hip hop. Definitely some cool tracks.
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.
ну классный хап чо, есть конечно поинтереснее варики лично для меня - трайб колд квест например, но это дело вкуса.
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).
“Michael Franti's "intellectual grasp thrusts him immediately into pop's front rank.” I BLOODY LOVE MICHAEL FRANTI.
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.