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The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy

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San Francisco, California, USA (1990 – 1993)

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy were a transitional Rap/Hip-Hop band from San Francisco, California, USA active during the early 1990’s. The band was formed in 1990 by Michael Franti and Rono Tse, who both previously were part of the raw, musically aggressive industrial influenced group The Beatnigs who also debuted on the Alternative Tentacles label. The group, who soon secured a deal with Chris Blackwell’s Island label, were named in part from the phrase “The Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy”, used in some Socialist literature,and predate’s Michael Franti establishing his long running group Spearhead in the latter part of the 90’s.

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy had problems being accepted in the commercial hip-hop scene due to Franti’s deeply literate and overtly political lyrics, and their avowed disinterest in gangsta party anthems, mysogyny and homophobia prevalent in that genre. They found audiences opening shows for other major politically conscious acts like U2, Billy Bragg, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Arrested Development. Critics associated them by genre with sampling groups of the time, like Pop Will Eat Itself and The KLF . They also were compared to Gil Scott-Heron due to the spoken vocal styles of Franti, the fresh 7 string jazz guitar stylings contributed by Charlie Hunter and the up-front political messages in the music.

Their debut album, Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury, received critical and underground acclaim upon its release in 1992, but was never commercially successful. Franti’s lyrics address a wide range of issues, from Mass Media bias and abuse on “Television: Drug of the Nation” to racial equality on “Socio-Genetic Experiment”, in large part inspired by his own childhood.

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