14 Aug 2008

Michael Franti

Bay Area rap group Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy gave Michael Franti his start and their politicised rhymes followed through into his next outfit, Spearhead. It was through his Franti's friendship with DLT and Dam Native that he first travelled to Tuhoe country in the late 90s and began an association with Tuhoe Iwi - since then Franti's been referencing his Aotearoa whanau in his song lyrics and in ta moko, as worked on by Inia Taylor - known for his design work in Once were Warriors. Te Ahi Kaa's Maraea Rakuraku first heard of Franti when he was hosted in Ruatoki by a mate who suggested she accompany the musician on a tour of Tuhoe landmarks. Maraea declined and she's been trying to make up for it ever since.