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Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

1 Jan 1992
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury
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MP3 Download, 24 Mar 1997
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£23.45

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I remember seeing these guys on "The Word" Channel 4's late night music show back in the 90's and they blew me away with their cover of the DK's "California Uber Alles", straight out the next week and bought the lp. Good old 6Music played a track the other week and I got straight onto Amazon to get it on cd as I'd flogged all my vinyl years ago. Television was and still is the stand out track, awesome then, awesome now....go and buy it!
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Format: Audio CD
Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury is an almost perfect example of political & socially conscious rap/hip-hop; this is a CD that Gil Scott Heron would be proud of.
The music is fantastic with strong beats that help drive the songs forward. However, it is the lyrics that set the Disposable Heroes apart. The album bristles with outrage but they never let this get in the way of making great songs. There are no duff tracks here, although for me Television the drug of the nation; California Uber Alles and Music & Politics stand out.
Michael Franti turns his attention to a wide variety of subjects, including: hypocrisy, US foreign and domestic policy, the Gulf war, racism, television and how it is used to pacify and control the populous, homophobia, pollution, fame even his personal failings. He does so with anger and indignation but also great wit and humour. He succeeds in being interesting and informative while managing to avoid preaching. He has a great flair for language coining many memorable phrases - often subverting the original intention (although sometimes he may stretch a rhyme or miss a beat) - always managing to entertain and inform.
Simply brilliant.
For further listening, Michael Franti went on to front Spearhead and make 'Home', which is another great example of political & socially conscious rap although it is less overtly angry and less hard-edged than this one.
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By A Customer on 29 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Michael Franti has now moved onto the laid back, grooveholmes style with his new band "Spearhead", total funk for the soul....However it wasn't always that way, before Franti got loved up there was "The Beatnigs" on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tenticles label. Industrial Noise meets early eighties politics with a small "p". Good but not quite enough to grab onto, the industrial beats laboured heavy on the messages. A few years later, a stronger grounding in hip hop and some crazy ass rhythms and everything previous just makes sense...Politics with a capital "P" and Hip Hop with a real sense of meaning. Even if you dont want the message the beats and rhythms are enough to hold you. Intelligent rap at its finest, witty, sharp, incisive. Franti a man with a heavy soul at this point sounds like he isn't just here to educate us, but to understand himself...Dont let me influence you for or against (as I put my foot in my mouth), just get this, listen and make up your own mind. It's what Franti would want you to do.
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Format: Audio CD
I wouldn't class myself as a massively perspicacious commentator on the rap & hip hop genre -indeed I haven't bought a rap album for some considerable time . But there was a time when rap was the most politically charged musical genus on the planet with artists like Public Enemy , NWA, Ice T etc regularly releasing albums that spoke with righteous indignation and furious anger about the social background they came from. Even recently bands on the Def-Jux label have done the same. But there is one album that , for me is head and shoulders above anything else when it comes to addressing the socio-political politics of the time .That album is Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury.
Released in 1992 , the band had been together for two years before they released their debut , clearly taking time to get the sound - a turbid melange of perambulating beats, frisky rhythmic divergences ,and playful samples just right. This is all impressive enough but what really elevates the band are both the vocals and more especially the lyrics by main man Michael Franti. The album is superbly produced by the band along with Consolidated ,s Mark Pistel while Meat Beat Manifesto ,s Jack Dangers assisted with the mixing.
Covering hotbed topics such as racial equality , homophobia , US foreign policy , immigration ,political subservience, hypocrisy (of course) and most infamously the way television is used as a tool to subsume the masses and the way the media is guilty of subreption . Though the lyrics radiate with palpable anger they are not without humour: "Apartheid is a new headache remedy" he spits on "Television , Drug Of The Nation".
Neither is the album a relentless volley of beats and in your face lyrical fury.
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Format: Audio CD
An absolute gem of an album which somehow manages to pull off the incredible feat of being extremely politically informative whilst being immensely enjoyable at the same time. Michael Franti, long before he discovered 'mainstream' success with Spearhead was one of the most articulate men in music, and his lyrics on this album are probably the finest ever committed to vinyl by an MC.
Aided and abetted on this, the only full-length release from DHOH, by percussion cohort Rono Tse, Franti explores such diverse subjects as the portrayal of blacks in the media (Famous and Dandy), the adverse effect of the Cathode Ray Tube on modern youth (Television: The Drug of the Nation) and the role consumerism plays in perpetuating the class divide (Financial Leprosy), this album could probably be cosidered the last great 'protest album'.
But make no mistake, this isn't just an excuse to fill out lengthy songs with even lengthier words. This album manages to be both immediately enjoyable and long-lasting at the same time. The immediacy is due in no small part to the memorable samples used and the fantastic variety of the songs. They range from straight hip-hop to funk to rock and even balladry, meaning that there truly should be something for everyone on this album.
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