Profiles

Boots Riley of the Coup on striking at Walmart, the Occupy movement and the art of rebellion

The Coup is a hip-hop group that makes no bones in its critique of the system, with song titles like the now infamous and powerful, "Five Million Ways to Kill a CEO," from its classic 2001 album, Party Music -- the artwork of which originally featured members Boots Riley and Pam the Funktress blowing up the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

But what sets this Oakland-based outfit apart from many other acts who make pronouncements against the evils of society is that the Coup invite you to be part of a larger narrative of social change rather than simply telling you you're not doing enough. Now touring to support its latest record, Sorry to Bother You, the Coup hasn't exactly reeled back its sharp but thoughtful and intelligent commentary on American society today. We recently spoke with the friendly and insightful Riley about Prince, the Occupy movement and the aesthetics of rebellion.

See also: - Saturday: The Coup at the Summit Music Hall, 11/24/12 - The ten best concerts this weekend: 11/23-11/25 - Review: the Coup at Denver Coliseum, 8/27/08

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.