The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy were a transitional Rap/Hip-Hop band from San Francisco, California, USA active during the early 1990's. The band was formed in 1990 by Michael Franti and Rono Tse, who both previously were part of the raw, musically aggressive industrial influenced group The Beatnigs who also debuted on the Alternative Tentacles label. The group, who soon secured a deal with Chris Blackwell's Island label...
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy had problems being accepted in the commercial hip-hop scene due to Franti's deeply literate and overtly political lyrics, and their avowed disinterest in gangsta party anthems, mysogyny and homophobia prevalent in that genre. They found audiences opening shows for other major politically conscious acts like U2, Billy Bragg, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Arrested Development. Critics associated them by genre with sampling groups of the time, like Pop Will Eat Itself and The KLF . They also were compared to Gil Scott-Heron due to the spoken vocal styles of Franti, the fresh 7 string jazz guitar stylings contributed by Charlie Hunter and the up-front political messages in the music.
Their debut album, Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury, received critical and underground acclaim upon its release in 1992, but was never commercially successful. Franti's lyrics address a wide range of issues, from Mass Media bias and abuse on "Television: Drug of the Nation" to racial equality on "Socio-Genetic Experiment", in large part inspired by his own childhood. The album also included a cover of the Dead Kennedys track "California Uber Alles" (with updated lyrics about then Governor Pete Wilson). "Television," which received wide airplay on college and alternative radio stations, had previously been recorded by Michael Franti's first band, The Beatnigs.
In common with other bands of the time on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy used sampling and scratching as a primary tool of music recording, and mixed Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, and Jazz in combinations that were ground breaking for the time. Later artists such as The Prodigy, Aphex Twin all built on approach to music creation used by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, among others.
Among their contemporaries, the band had strong artistic, political, and personal ties to both Meat Beat Manifesto and Consolidated. The recording of Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury was co-produced by Consolidated's Mark Pistel, and prolific Meat Beat Manifesto frontman Jack Dangers assisted with mixing.
In 1993 the duo worked with William S. Burroughs, recording music for a collaborative album entitled Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales. This album diverged greatly from the style of the band's previous work, as they were largely providing musical background and accompaniment to Burroughs' spoken readings from several of his books. The Disposable Heroes split up shortly after. Michael Franti formed Spearhead, which (to date) have released 5 albums and are still a going concern, while Tse worked with the Mystik Journeymen.