Michael Franti & Spearhead

“The revolution will not be televised,” Gil Scott-Heron used to chant prophetically back in the ‘70s. And now that a handful of corporations control most of what you see and hear, even if there is a revolution, instead of major coverage, it’s more likely we’ll be treated to new revelations from inside a former president’s boxer shorts. Franti (ex-Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy) carries on the righteously indignant prophet-crying-in-the-wilderness stance that Scott-Heron and the Last Poets popularized during the Nixon Era. Here, he sounds like a politicized Bill Withers grunting over resonant backing tracks from Spearhead, whose musical flow is reminiscent of the gently shifting tides of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. But gentle, Franti’s message is not; when a neo-confederate coup d’etat declares war on you and your people, the words of Rodney King quite simply will not suffice.