Rap group from Oakland, California. They've recorded 3 albums: Kill My Landlord, Genocide and Juice, and 1998's Steal This Album. Original group was rappers Boots and E-roc and DJ Pam the Funkstress, one of the few female DJs around. Boots' real name is Raymond Riley and he is know for and by his big afro.

The first album is notable for some very unusual sentiments as an anti-marijuana song "Last Blunt" and "I Ain't the Nigga"--

they say, "it don't mean the same
if you spell it with an 'a'"
but that's an argument that makes me itch, I twitch
if I took the 't' out would I still be "bitch"?
Don't be the coolie or the moolie
or the boo with the jigga'.
Don't be the one. Don't be the Nigga!

They backed off of that kinda stuff for their second album which was more of a commercial success. The songs are not nearly as good as the first, IMHO. The first two albums are on Wild Pitch Records who are well known for being shitty to their artists

Steal This Album on Dogday Records is a bit of a return to form. E-roc has left the group, though he appears on one song. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien appears on one track. But Boots still has a great style and can write brilliant lyrics, which don't shy away from being political, though they may not be as radical as they once were. The Coup are excellent indie hip-hop, which is a very good thing to listen to, especially if you only have major label rap that Dr. Dre produced in your collection.

The Coup's 4th album, Party Music, is now due in stores on November 6, 2001, delayed two months for very unfortunate reasons. Embarrassingly, the proposed design for the cover artwork originally featured group member Boots Riley holding a detonator in front of the exploding World Trade Center. Clearly, the group are no longer going ahead with this choice of design, and a spokesperson for the band said the new cover will "probably bear the band's logo".

The artwork for the upcoming album was done about two months before the disaster on September 11, 2001, and was pulled from the band's website immediately following the breaking news that day. The record also worringly features a single called 5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO, reflecting the group's generally anti-capitalist standpoint.

Boots has made a statement, in his defense he says:

"All life is precious and this tremendous tragedy is by no means taken lightly by The Coup ... This is a very unfortunate coincidence and my condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims."

The record company Ark 75's spokesperson Toni Isabella said:

"The Coup are deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy ... The Coup advocates change, but change through peaceful means, never through violence."

CNN, Washington Post, fabulamag.com

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