COUP, THE: Pick a Bigger Weapon: CD

In a period in rap’s history when politics and the art of rhyme has been overshadowed by an almost obsessive emphasis on bitches, business and bling, The Coup sticks out like Stokely Carmichael at a Pat Boone concert. Boots’ rhymes cover every nook and cranny of how the system has failed the bulk of the country’s great unwashed with eloquence and intelligence that is rare outside of hip hop’s underground these days. Like similar-minded rhymers like Dead Prez and Immortal Technique, Boots assumes a revolutionary stance, but infuses his politics with liberal doses of humor and a gift for telling a good story, which, when fused with Pam the Funkstress’ funk-heavy beats, gives new meaning to “Revolutionary Party.” Although there’s no arguing that he means it when he says “‘Death to the Pigs,’ is my basic statement,” he ain’t about simply rehashing old slogans, and more often opts to make a point with a little more finesse: “Some confuse ass-breath with strong halitosis/it’s been hundreds of years since its first diagnosis/by the African doctor Mwangi Misoi/ known in the States as ‘Mr. Thomas’ Boy’/he found that preventing this affliction was lost/with the mention of the phrase ‘Um, yassah boss’/When that phrase was uttered/many stomachs would wrench/some jumped in the Atlantic to escape the stench….” Like Abbie Hoffman and Jello Biafra (who makes a guest appearance here), the emphasis is more on the “prankster” approach to rabblerousing and dropping lyrical bombs wrapped in wit rather than angrily railing about what is obvious to everyone but the Republican and Democratic parties and the corporate elite that control them. If you think rap sucks, you’re just listening to the wrong joints, ’cause The Coup is some mandatory listening.

 –jimmy (Epitaph)