The Coup

From Tupac to Too Short, the Bay Area has consistently produced a wealth of talented hip-hop artists over the years. Oakland duo the Coup -- made up of MC Boots Riley and DJ/producer Pam the Funkstress -- is yet another exceptional export. The pair's latest effort, Pick a Bigger Weapon, aside from being a shoo-in to land on many a critic's year-end list, offers a blistering mix of songs and comedy skits that highlight Riley's incendiary and irreverent lyrical style. Falling somewhere between the political declarations of former peace activist Abbie Hoffman and the over-the-top sarcasm of fellow Oaktown crew the Digital Underground, Riley's lyrical tirades are both poignant and spot-on as he tackles everything from the war in Iraq to his love of shoplifters. Currently backed by a three-piece band that provides a unique dimension to its already compelling live show, the Coup is underground NoCal hip-hop at its best.

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