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   REVIEWS : DRUGS : TRP 1 (SUMMER, 1997)
Spearhead - Chocolate Supa Highway

Carlos Walker

Music review

Title: Chocolate Supa Highway
Band: Spearhead
Label: Capitol Records
If Spearhead's debut, Home, was aimed at the alterative audience, then Chocolate Supa Highway is Michael Franti's aim to discover his Bay Area/Rap/Raga roots. For the most part, he's successful, except for unfortunate moments when he regresses into alternative-hippy-happy sappyness.
    The Supa Highway boots up with the title track and "Keep Me Lifted," that has a Digital Underground vibe. At first I was irritated by Franti's twin-of-Tupac flow, but then he comes with the lines," You be jumping to conclusions/I think you spent your whole life watching cable in seclusion/illusions about what's outside your door/one niggy/ two niggy/ three niggy four/robbin every house and every liquor store." With lyricals like that you gotta give hims tha hall pass and he keeps it up too.
    Even if Franti doesn't have the most elaberate style, he still has the ability to take your expectations and start flipping shit all over 'em. On Why Oh, Why, he takes an Outkast like audio, and gives a 'back in the day' rhyme that's crackin'. Gas Gauge (The World Is In Your Hands) is a beautifully told cautionary tale with a Gap sample. But what keeps Supa Highway elevated is the way Franti relinquishes the mic to his R&B guest vocalists and other MCs. Rebel Music is a straight up Reggae track, and the R&B injected U Can't Sing R Song and the Mary Jane ode, Ganja Babe all shine. Wayfarin' Stranger on the other hand is that feelgood hippy dud I was talking about earlier. The sample is good but the uber ernest-folky vocals made my skin crawl. Road trip status: good get high music.


Tags : psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2001-03-05 00:00:00