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2001-12-17

Hip Hop Artist and Activist Michael Franti On the Failures of the Music Community Sinceseptember 11

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For nearly a decade hip hop artist and activist Michael Franti has been one of the leading progressive voices inmusic. Rising out of the Bay Area music and political scene in the early 1990’s, Franti founded the Beatnigs,Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy, and most recently the musical collective Spearhead. Michael’s music mixes hip hop,soul and jazz influences but is driven by his political lyrics.

Franti’s latest album, "Stay Human," proposes that grassroots community activists infiltrate, overthrow, and take themedia into their own hands to get important political messages out to a wider audience. The album also takes on thedeath penalty, with songs interspersed by broadcasts from an imaginary pirate radio station, Stay Human Radio,working to prevent the execution of a community activist.

Michael Franti is also a long time political activist, using his musical talents to support anti-racist, anti-policebrutality and anti-war organizing around the country. He has spoken out as both a musician and an activist sinceSeptember 11 and recently wrote the song "bomb the world" in response to the September 11 attacks and the US bombingof Afghanistan. Yesterday he spoke and sang at an anti-war rally held in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Guest:

  • Michael Franti, artist and activist.

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