Taken from Jam ShowBiz (August 16, 1996)
Spearhead chief gets right to the point
by ERROL NAZARETH
Those of you who get off on thoughtful songwriting have a treat coming your way in October. It's the second Spearhead album, Chocolate Supa Highway.
While Franti played the entire album -- a deeply soulful and sensual disc -- for me in his tour bus, I let my tape roll.
Raps Franti on the album's title track: "I remember the time in Oklahoma you tried to blame an Arab but a whitey was the bomber/You be jumping to conclusions, I think you spend your whole life watching cable in seclusion/Illusions
about what's outside your door/One n---, two n---, three n----, four, robbing every house and every liquor store/Run for your life we're marching one million more ... "
The head of Spearhead doesn't seem the least concerned that some white people will likely dog him for these lyrics.
In fact, he takes on those who question why people of color are "so angry" in his single, Wayfarin' Stranger.
"I say, 'Don't mistake our anger for resentment, don't mistake us being docile for contentment,' " Franti said.
"You know, just 'cause you see me being cool and being chill-out doesn't mean everything's okay. And just 'cause you hear me being angry doesn't mean I'm being spiteful.
"There are reasons why we're pissed off and there are also reasons why we take our time and just cool things out a little bit."
Like his idol, Bob Marley, Franti excels in tackling issues as varied as race, rage and love in his music.
"Marley never shied away from writing from the heart," he says. "He wrote about punks and Rastas partying together, he wrote songs about heavy military engagement, how much he loved God, missed his girlfriend ... That's what I'm always trying to do."