Michael Franti


In nearly two decades in music-making, Franti has grown from a black-booted voice of youthful rage into a barefoot clarion for social justice.

In 1986, Franti formed the Beatnigs, whose black industrial sound deconstructed punk, rock and Reaganism with a leather-jacketed "No!" to militarism, racism and compromise. Their single "Television," released by Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label, hit late night MTV rotation.

By 1992, Franti and Beatnig member Rono Tse became the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy with multi-instrumentalist Charlie Hunter (who has since become a renowned jazz guitarist). Their album Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury delivered assaulting Public Enemy-inspired beats and rhymes, but also offered naked songs like the self-probing "Socio-Genetic Experiment" and the movement-mantric "Music and Politics." This act hit heavy media saturation and was prominently featured on MTV.

His next step defied expectations. In 1994, he signed to Capitol Records for his new band, Spearhead, and dove headfirst into his r&b and soul roots, mixing up Mayfield and Marley, Scott-Heron and Scarface on hits like "Hole In The Bucket", "People In the Middle" and "Ganja Babe". Home and Chocolate Supa Highway sold hundreds of thousands of copies and Spearhead became a worldwide phenomenon. In 1999, Michael released his first solo recording in his newly formed label, Boo Boo Wax. Live at the Balboa is a mix of spoken word and acoustic Spearhead songs recorded during a five night stint in San Francisco.

In 2000, Stay Human was released on Six Degrees. Stay Human could be considered a musical meditation on social justice, legal injustice, and the death penalty set to hip-grinding party music and hearfelt ballads. The album is mix of classic soul, funk and hip-hop built around an imaginary broadcast from a community radio station covering the impending state execution of a black activist accused of murder. The music on Stay Human delivers its own message- that strength, either in an individual or in a community, comes from the spirit.

2003 saw the release of Everyone Deserves Music on Boo Boo Wax/iMUSIC, press accolades and monster touring including key American and international festivals along with numerous tour dates.