Michael Franti and Spearhead

I was excited to browse local concert listings and see Michael Franti and Spearhead are due for a Feb. 3 date in Tempe. Sadly, I fell out of love with Spearhead when I (probably immaturely) wrote off their second LP, Chocolate Supa Highway. Their debut, Home, was so stunning – in its musical breadth and social commentary – that Chocolate left me a little flat; although, looking back, I can’t quite recall why.

What I do remember is seeing Spearhead in concert for the first time, opening for the Digable Planets in 1995. Coming to that show, I couldn’t have imagined anyone squashing my enthusiasm for seeing Digable, but, quite honestly, Spearhead proved to be (pardon the cliche) a tough act to follow.

Peep the one-time local DJ in fine print.
Whatever the case, Franti (formerly of Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy) is an important voice in hip-hop – and music, in general. When there seems to be a lot of mindless lyrics out there, Franti always seems to have something to say.

Spearhead | Hole in the Bucket (live)
Spearhead | People in Da Middle (the Angel Re-Mix)
Michael Franti | Positive

(taken from Disposable Heroes 12″ of Famous and Dandy / Charlie Hunter on bass, guitar, harmonica; Rono Tse on percussion)

8 thoughts on “Michael Franti and Spearhead”

  1. Kevin – the last track is from the Disposable Heroes 12″, or all three?

    If the latter, where are the other two from?

  2. Anon, the “Positive” track showed up on Spearhead’s “Home,” but this is a different version from a Disposable 12″, apparently before Franti created Spearhead.

    Hole in the Bucket (live) is from a CD single; orignal version on “Home.”

    People in da Middle (remix) was from a CD single; original version also on “Home.”

  3. yeah, i kinda feel same way about Franti. really really loved disposable heroes & 1st spearhead album, but haven’t paid too much attention since then — for no good reason. (gotta say, though, 1st time i heard disposable heroes i had to overcome negative reaction b/c Franti simply sounded toooo much like Gil Scott Heron. it was easy to get over that; his voice & message are distinct).

    anyway –should be a great show!

  4. One of the reasons Spearhead is more obscure to y’all is likely the shift from avant experimental industrial hip hop marketed with major label muscle to more of a world music, hippie jam band on an indie label…

    Franti has always had problems getting accepted in the Hip Hop community, considered either too intellectual, or not “street” or “down” enough…

    These daze he’s practically the soundtrack to the Peace movement…Check out Bomb The World

    Hence his marginalization, but no doubt he is a great artist, charismatic figure, and someone who has earned his spot on he marquee, and likely has a long & global future…

    and I ay this while most of his disposable hip hop contemporaries that put him down are long gone off the map…

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