YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: #147 UK
SINGLES: Of Course You Can (#74 UK), People in tha Middle (#49 UK), Hole in the Bucket (#55 UK), Positive
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Dream Team
LINEUP: Michael Franti, Mary Harris, Le Le Jamison, Keith McArthur, David James, James Gray, Charlie Hunter. Vernon Reid plays a solo.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Michael Franti forms a new group with studio musicians with a that gave his political messages a bit more grounded than the heavy Disposable Heroes of Hiphroprisy.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Michael Franti’s distinctive raps are political and social, and at times the heavy handedness turned off some listeners. Here, though, using a live band of session musicians, his socially and politically conscious messages are enhanced, and easy to embrace.
At a time where material goods were paramount, and hip-hop was more about image than anything else, Franti stressed being active in the community, and love and respecting everyone. Also, he made people aware of what was happening in the world.
Franti’s shift to Spearhead was quite successful artistically, as the organic sound of the band works well with his flow and rhymes.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Based in San Francisco, this album was produced in Philadelphia.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: One of the landmarks of 90’s hip-hop and a leading light to a new movement combining live music and rap.