Sunday, 6 November 2016
Oliver: The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - Television, The Drug of the Nation (23 February 1992)
Now we come to a big gun, one of the best hip-hop tracks of the decade and as relevant today as it was 24 years ago, possibly even more so.
Laid down over an instrumental bed that sounds like a dry run for Beck's Loser, vocalist Michael Franti takes aim at all the ills which can be laid at television's door - rampant commercialisation, the corruption of innocence (the number of murders a child will see by the time it's 12 years old), political spin, mangled language and the general dumbing down of the passive drones that soak it all up. They may be easy targets, but the bullseye is hit all the way through. It may also be the first track to reference the whole "150 channels and nothing worth watching" line.
Nothing has changed since The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy recorded this and the feel of the track is such that if you were to tell Franti that in 2016, it would be possible to get your fix by turning on a mobile phone, small enough to fit into a breast pocket, he would probably just shrug.
Video courtesy of Elgroover.