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The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club

June 28, 2009

So here are the two groups that I am listening to the most lately.

The Coup

The Coup is an underground rap (political hip-hop) group made up of Boots Riley and DJ Pam the Funkstress. Originated from Oakland, California in 1991. Boots has repeatedly referred to himself as a communist and their music sounds this with music that is often declared Marxist. Their songs are critical of many things: capitalism, American politics, police brutality, racism and slavery, pimping, and much more. While I obviously don’t agree with some things in their music, a lot rather, it definitely puts thing into good perspectives. I really like the beats that The Coup drops, and Boots has a unique voice that works quite well with their beats. Obviously a lot of people will be against this music for their viewpoints, and that is fine, but it is definitely at least worth a listen to see what their viewpoints are. I have listed The Coup albums below with the CD album covers. Below that I have videos and reviews of some of their songs that are my favorites.

Their albums include:

Kill My Landlord 1993 coupkillmylandlord

Genocide & Juice 1994 coupgenocidejuice

Steal This Album 1998 coup steal this album cover

Party Music 2001 partymusic

Pick a Bigger Weapon 2006 pickabiggerweapon


Ride the Fence -So this is the first song I heard by The Coup. I looked it up after hearing some Street Sweeper Social Club, and started looking up Boots Riley to see what else he has done. I landed on youtube and watched this music video to Ride the Fence, one of the songs off of the Party Music album. I really enjoy this song because even though they are throwing their radical opinions at you the song is about supporting something. Whether you are in support or opposition you have to choose a side because you can’t change shit by ridin’ the fence. So make up your mind, choose one side or the other and give that your undivided support, because sitting on your ass and not choosing a side means your not doing anything at all, so regardless of what side you choose, you gotta pick one. So while we get their political opinions, some of which I love, we also get the message to choose a side-which is such an important issue, people need to get off the sideline and do something, the only thing you need to decide is which side you are on?

We Are The Ones– Another song against the current American political system. I really enjoy this song for the beat and instruments more than the lyrics themselves. The lyrics are good, but nothing spectacular for what I like to hear from my music. This song is just really fun to listen to! We are the Ones who have to stand up and make changes to the system is the message they are saying.

Get That Monkey off Your Back- This is another quality song with a good beat and some good lyrics. In an interview about this song Boots states that the message of this song is about kicking addiction. Regardless of what that addiction or problem may be, it is about breaking the system or breaking addiction and starting new or clean. I originally thought it was about getting away from pimping and prostitution, breaking away from those addictions, and it could partly be. The song in general is about just breaking away from the corruption and addiction everyone faces.

Captain Sterlings Little Problem- This song was originally being created for the Vietnam documentary sir yes sir, but Boots changed it to make it work for the current wars in Iraq/Afghanistan. In Vietnam there was a lot of mutiny by soldiers because of the war. The message in this song is that we are dying in this war already, and for wars that are ridiculous at that, so if there are no soldiers there is no war, so soldiers need to stop listening and get themselves sent home.

Two other songs I really enjoy that I can’t find any good links for are: Head (of State) and Ass-Breath Killers

These are both awesome songs with great beats and great lyrics. Head of State is about Bush and Hussein together in Bed, how The Coup believe that the Bush’s and Hussein essentially worked together, in the US funding Iraq in the Iraq Iran war so that the US could get control of oil, and then Hussein overstepped his bounds and Iraq nationalized their oil and obviously the US didn’t like this so the US decided to take out Hussein. Ass Breath Killers is about not kissing ass, stand up for yourself and don’t get pushed around. This song is really enjoyable to listen to for the beat and the lyrics.


True dat- I love getting new music, but it is so expensive, luckily I get a lot from friends and family, etc. This is something me and Boots share the exact view on though. Regardless of how you get the music, legal or illegal if you like someone you will go and see them live. This is where they get the majority of their money and thats the best thing about it. All the bands I like I would love to see live for this reason, regardless of how the music ended up getting onto my itunes I would like to see them live to support them, to see a great show, and hear them live. So much can be done in studios I only think a band is good if they perform well live, otherwise its just technology not them making the music.

An interview on the TV show politcally incorrect where Boots and some others argue about politics

Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweepers are an absolutely awesome group. The group contains Boots Riley, from The Coup which I talked about above. Then to add to this they have guitar god Tom Morello! So obviously you know this band is going to be kick ass. The SSSC kicks out awesome jams, with lyrics that follow with a very hip hop like sound on top of Morello’s amazing guitar. SSSC originated after Tom Morello and Boots Riley were on a tour together, they became friends. Tom Morello made 24 jams and put in on a cassete tape and presented it to Boots and asked him to make lyrics. The band is going to make anthems for the revolution.

The origins of SSSC


Promenade-how can you not like SSSC? They love playing music, you can see it. They kick out the fuckin jams, Tom Morello is a guitar god, honestly he is just insane in this song and Boots is awesome. They know how to play live, and the people at this concert suck, I hate people that go to a concert and can’t get down to an awesome group.  I would love to see SSSC!

This is a cover of M.I.A’s Paper Planes. SSSC loves to cover this song and they have done it a lot

100 Little Curses-Their first solo off of their album. The first is a live version and the second is the music video!

The Oath-Check live videos out on Youtube, the sound isn’t the best so I didn’t post one of those because I feel like you need to hear the song perfectly recorded the first time. Live they jam out to this song though!


From → Music

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