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Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

Disposable Heroes of Hiphopris Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.95
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Product Details

1. Satanic Reverses
2. Famous And Dandy (Like Amos 'n' Andy)
3. Television, The Drug Of The Nation
4. Language Of Violence
5. The Winter Of The Long Hot Summer
6. Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury
7. Everyday Life Has Become A Health Risk
8. INS Greencard 1-19 191 500
9. Socio-Genetic Experiment
10. Music And Politics
11. Financial Leprosy
12. California Uber Alles
13. Water Pistol Man

Product Description

Product Description


Although this group is long defunct, its one major recording will be fondly remembered for years--if not decades--to come. The Heroes consisted of rapper Michael Franti and percussionist Ron Tse; together, the San Francisco Bay area-based duo created a biting, politically savvy record that touched on both personal vulnerability and governmental venality. Franti used the microphone to preach about injustice, homophobia, materialism, and apathy. Although Public Enemy had long before established hip-hop's political potential, they never quite attained Franti's ability to translate black rage into universal themes. In the Heroes' best number, "Television, the Drug of the Nation," Franti raps, "Imagination is sucked out of our children by a cathode ray nipple / Television is the only wet-nurse that would create a cripple." Unfortunately, after extensive touring, the pair went their separate ways, Tse to a variety of solo projects and Franti to Spearhead. --Martin Johnson

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit dated, but still holds up well Jan. 8 2004
Format:Audio CD
Astoundingly successful hip-hop performer Michael Franti is probably better known these days for his work with Spearhead on albums like "Everyone Deserves Music". Listeners who enjoy his sense of melody and the catchy music provided by his backing musicians are strongly advised to avoid this album. Listeners who can look beyond the catchy lyrics and appreciate the message behind them will more than likely find something to enjoy here.
The Disposable Heroes were an industrial-hip-hop-performance poetry duo from the early 90s who pulled absolutely no punches when it came to their subject matter. Being an explicitly political group, much of this album refers to events and personalities current in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War and the United States of George Bush Snr. That said, there is a surprising universality in some of the tracks which enables them to communicate their message more than 10 years after they were recorded.
The most well-known performance on this album is the minor hit "Television, The Drug Of A Nation". Franti's condemnation of television culture "where pop stars metamorphosise into soda pop stars/you saw the movie/you heard the soundtrack/now buy the drink/for the only cola that I support/would be a Union COLA - Cost of Living Allowance" is as current now as it was then. Indeed, the plethora of reality TV shows in today's world demonstrates the validity of Franti's comments.
Also worth a listen is "Satanic Reverses" (itself a reference to Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses"), a condemnation of almost everything a government could possibly do - with the strident chorus "bail out the banks/loan art to the churches/satanic reverses".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Against the Grain Nov. 20 2003
Format:Audio CD
While the 'Inspirators & Conspirators' listed in the lyrics booklet include KRS-ONE and Public Enemy, they also include folks who are decidedly NOT rap artists: Jello Biafra, Adrian Sherwood, Meat Beat Manifesto, and Billy Bragg. While everyone seems to classify DHOH as rap, its Industrial element is plainly there for anyone to hear (chains, grinders, tire rims) along with the Very obvious influence of Gil Scott-Heron. IF YOU CAN'T COPE WITH BREAKING OUT OF A MUSICAL GENRE, THEN DON'T BUY THIS CD. As a young punk rocker, I listened to this almost every night for a couple of months upon its release (more than a decade ago); it's such a classic that I can still enjoy it today (and the song 'The Winter of the Long Hot Summer' speaks just as well to Bush II / Gulf War II as it did to Bush I / Gulf War I).
The lyrics are deeply thought-provoking, proving this duo to be pretty much the antithesis of NWA (not that NWA doesn't make you think at all -- I'll bet someone out there somewhere has done their dissertation on NWA). Unlike many other albums out there, the first two tracks here are not the 'hits' (actually, I feel that they are the weakest of the bunch). Instead you'll probably find your favorites dispersed throughout the CD, including a strong closing track.
Buy this CD if you want to hear something refreshing (even over a decade after it was fresh).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Watering the Flowers in Your own Backyard Aug. 22 2001
Format:Audio CD
....I am satisfied but, as always, here are my criticisms: A little more humor and a little less preachy 'politicizing' would've gone a longer way for these two guys, the standard for this kind of material still being, to this day, Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Yet Franti and Pistel have created a record that settles into a niche between Public Enemy and Scott-Heron, and they have at least 5 or 6 songs that damn near reach the intensity of TRWNBTelevized! The programming, the bass and the backing music to Franti's politically astute raps are especially pristine. Despite their preachiness and a certain lack of the 'indirect poetry' that makes so many non-political rap groups quite political in spite of themselves, I really like the power and delivery of the title hard driving track, "Famous and Dandy Like Amos and Andy," "Television, the Drug of a Nation," "Language of Violence," and the version of the Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles." My two favorite tracks, however, are the least conventionally Hip-hopish tracks: the Charlie Hunter Jazz-guitar-backed "Music and Politics," and the quietly powerful "Water Pistol Man," which just about nails the major dilemma of the 'seeker' for all time. Very poetic, at that less word-heavy point of the disc anyway. Now, only if Franti had read a little less Chomsky and a little more Baudelaire, this record may have had enough "Flowers of Evil," to be as endlessly fascinating as Slick Rick's "The Art of Storytelling," OutKast's "Stankonia," and "Aquemini," the funky half of N.W.A.'s "Straight Out of Compton, or some of Tupac Shakur's best records. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the Best Elements of Hip-Hop June 16 1998
Format:Audio CD
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy are anything but disposable. With social commentary that cuts to the core of modern ills, they expose our disposable culture for what it is, pointing out hypocrisy at every turn. The band instantly evokes memories of other great Hip-Hop bands that have combined socio-political poetry with Jazz-influenced riffs: bands like Arrested Development and Digable Planets.
Listenable, yet demanding, the Heroes deliver melody and musically complex arrangements. Samples are used liberally, with synths providing a techno background for their funk. When the band reincarnated as Spearhead, the synth player/co-writer was missing from the lineup. That was a loss as this album proves. Nevertheless, Spearhead is also worth a listen, especially if you like the Heroes.
Sadly, the Disposable Heroes never got the recognition they deserved, putting out just this one album to my knowledge. It's one of my Top 5 Hip-Hop favorites of all time. Check it out.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Lyrics
I like the CD. We need more music with a political message. Buy this just to read the lyrics. The lyrics have amazing relevance to what is happening in the world now. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Running the time
Ok, I do admit, that this is not the first political Rip-Hop sudo Hip-Hop artist to be left winging it. From the originators of Consolidated can you be surprised at the material. Read more
Published on July 26 2003 by EquinoX
1.0 out of 5 stars Politics and music
Hip-Hop is an amazing form of expression. However this is just not a good album. I know most of us want to believe in it because of the political messages spewed forth by Franti,... Read more
Published on May 20 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars what CD did the rest of you listen to? It wasn't this one
This is a horrible record. The MC's flow is incredibly weak, he has no understanding of rhyme at all, the beats are powder puff material, the most uncool, unhip stuff ever... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Socialist Americans
One day a friend told me a surprising story... A friend of his was doing his Ph.D thesis on an American hip-hop band! Read more
Published on March 15 2002 by Alfredo Sanz Hervas
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship
Michael Franti is an incredible musician, and he surrounds himself with incredible musicians. What else is great? The message. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by "spf80"
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Find
If you're even thinking about getting this album you should just buy it because you won't be disappointed. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2000 by dcinDC
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless.
It almost seems too good to be true: a hip-hop album that's at once scathingly political, smart enough to address the ambiguities of its subject matter rather than resorting to... Read more
Published on May 24 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars So you don't like rap/hip hop music?
Although this CD has been in my collection for about ten years, it is one of the most timeless pieces I own. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2000 by Andre R Bowens
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiphoprisy is a HIDDEN CLASSIC
I'm not a big fan of hip hop and rap, but these guys are just too hard to resist. Very thoughtful, very tough, very different. Great message, super mixes. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2000
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