Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Coup

I recently came across an interview about the 'conscious' hip hop group The Coup.

Boots Riley, leader of the rap group The Coup, talks about setting up organizations of mostly artists that would setting up "entertainment concerts" and bring in speakers to promote cultural, that turned into political, messages and advocate for certain social injustices. 

He highlights the difficulties of writing such provocative music because "we weren't being able to get booked...if weren't talking about certain subjects, if they didn't think we were gangster enough or if they didn't think we were east coast sounding enough."  The industry does not want to promote music that explicitly goes against it, and would rather promote dull and lyrically dull songs that won't provoke people to think.  

In another interview, Boots said that he didn't consider his songs as 'conscious', rather "[he] was trying to put messages in [his] music, but [he] didn't see [himself] as in a separate world from what was considered gangsta rap." Based in Oakland, CA, people often regarded The Coup as another gangster rap group without paying attention to the lyrics.  In many of his rhymes, Boots promotes education through entertainment, rather than to glorify the gangster lifestyle.

What do you guys think about the message that their music is "destroying capitalism"?
The Coup's sound is very similar to old school hip hop, but why are they not selling as many albums (despite people complaining they want to hear the old school type hip hop again)?

On a side note, my favorite quote from the interview is "We're having 'Fuck the police day' at the lake and we're giving out free chicken."  I hope you enjoy watching the interview.

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