The Coup

party music

The Coup is a political hip hop group based in Oakland, California. It formed as a three-member group in 1992 with emcees Boots Riley and E-Roc along with DJ Pam the Funkstress. E-Roc left on amicable terms after the group’s second album. The duo is politically Marxist in its music and aligns itself with other radical hip-hop groups such as Dead Prez. The group’s music is characterized by electronic sounds and bass-driven backbeats overlaid by humorous, cynical and sometimes violent lyrics criticizing capitalism, American politics, patriarchal exploitation, and police brutality, among other things.

In Novemeber 2001, The Coup released ‘Party Music’ to widespread praise and condemnation. The original album cover art depicted Pam and Boots standing in front of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as they are destroyed by huge explosions, and Riley is pushing the button on a guitar tuner. The cover art was finished in June 2001. In response to the uncanny similarity of the artwork with the WTC attack of 9/11, the album release was held back until alternative cover art could be prepared.

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