SoJones has the scoop on Boots Riley and his new management team. Much congrats to everyone involved; check out the press release below!
Los Angeles, CA – Knitting Factory Management, a division of Knitting Factory Entertainment, is pleased to announce the signing of political hip-hop artist Boots Riley and his revolutionary group The Coup. The Coup, fronted by legendary MC and activist Boots Riley, performs an amalgamation of funk,
punk, hip-hop, and soul combined with aggressive yet danceable bass-driven backbeats. Riley
identifies as a communist and has been politically active since his early teens in various
progressive and leftist causes, including The Progressive Labor Party and the International
Committee Against Racism, and The Coup have been ideologically linked with other politically
radical music acts such as The Clash, Dead Prez and Rage Against the Machine.
Formed in the early ’90s and influenced by the black power movement, The Coup is one of the
most overtly political bands in rap history.
Lead rapper/producer Boots Riley’s fervent dedication to social change, influenced by movements like Young Comrades and Occupy Oakland, was the
overriding influence on every Coup album. Second rapper E-Roc and DJ Pam the Funkstress
rounded out the band’s first lineup. The Coup’s debut album Kill My Landlord, released in 1993, was a highly charged blend of leftist
resistance and ’70s funk. In 1994, the group released its second album Genocide & Juice to
critical acclaim. AV Club described it as “A sophisticated sense of irony rare in any form of
popular music, but nearly unheard of in hip-hop… one of the most overlooked masterpieces in
After a four-year recording hiatus, the group released Steal This Album in 1998. It was named “a
masterpiece” by Rolling Stone and “the best hip-hop album of the 1990s” by online magazine
Dusted. The Coup’s next album Party Music was also critically lauded. It hit #8 in the 2001 Village
Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, was named “Album Of The Year” by The Washington Post and “Hip-
Hop Album Of The Year” by Rolling Stone. Pitchfork said, “The entire album rocks harder than a
detonated dirty bomb… repeated listens bring out the nuances of Boots’ politics and humor. The
skills on display here will have you seeing red-colored stars for days.” Rolling Stone said: “Every
track impresses… Ideologues believe communist artists are never this humorous, this balanced,
this concrete. They’re wrong.”
In 2003, Vibe Magazine named Boots Riley one of the ten most influential people of 2002. That
same year, Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello invited Riley to be
part of the “Tell Us the Truth Tour,” which shed light on the monopolization of the media and the
coming FTAA agreements. Around that time, Riley founded ShoYoAss Words, Sounds, &
Pictures, a media company specializing in music and art that he calls “relevant to social change.”
The Coup released Pick a Bigger Weapon in 2006 and it was named “Album Of The Year” by
Associated Press. The Coup’s sixth album, entitled Sorry to Bother You, was released in 2012,
again to wide acclaim.
It was included in Spin Magazine’s recent “25 Fall Albums You Gotta
Hear” list and described as “a hip-hop broadside at its core, but also integrates aggro punk guitar
and danceable, ’80-influenced beats.” Since their last release, The Coup has made several trips
to Europe in addition to touring around the US.
With the support of Knitting Factory Management, The Coup embarks on a new chapter. Boots
Riley is in the process of writing a feature film script. The group also continues developing
Shadowbox, a “multi-stage concert / dance party / theater / installation / haunted-funhouse,”
combining redefined versions of The Coup’s songs with guests musicians, dancers, actors, and
Is this an artist you want to check out further? Stay on SoJones and we got you!