Michael Franti is an American rapper, poet, musician and composer.
Since 1994, he has been accompanied by his own band, Spearhead, of which he is the singer and occasional guitarist, combining hip hop with various other musical styles, such as reggae, folk, funk, jazz and rock.
Since 1986, Franti has been part of an industrial punk band, The Beatnigs, with DJ Rono Tse. With him, in 1991, he also founded the crossover group The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, which featured jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. The group's lyrics were extremely cutting against the injustices of the world. In 1994, Franti formed his own group, Spearhead, experimenting with and mixing various musical genres, while keeping his messages intact. His criticism of the rampant violence of the gangsta rap world drew heavy criticism from that environment, some going so far as to ridicule him for having been adopted as a child by white parents. Michael Franti continues to write and sing about AIDS, homelessness, kidnappings, police brutality and the death penalty, giving voice to a desire for peace and justice regardless of skin colour, but always trying to instil positive energy and optimism, giving messages of hope for the future.
Michael Franti is also particularly well-known in Italy for having collaborated several times with the Italian singer-songwriter Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini, his great admirer and friend. In 1999 they duetted for the first time in the song From below, in the album Lorenzo 1999 - Cape Horn and in 2008 singing with him the song Free Hands 2008 of the album Safari. Subsequently in the Safari Tours he took the stage at the Palalottomatica in Rome singing the latter song and on stage at the Forum di Assago where he also opened the concert with his band. In 2011, he again duetted with the singer-songwriter in the song Butterfly wing beats in the new album Now. He again duetted with Lorenzo at the Forum di Assago on 13 May 2011, again opening the concert. In June of the same year, the single was released in Italy The Sound of Sunshine which had been very successful the previous year in the United States. For the occasion, only in Italy, this single was released with the collaboration of Jovanotti, which immediately jumped into the charts, reaching number three. In 2014 he collaborated with Caparezza on the track It is late, present in the album Museica.
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