In conversation with Sam Aranke and co-sponsored by Food for Thought.
Boots Riley is a co-founder of the hip hop group The Coup, as well as the group's primary producer, arranger and songwriter. Together with DJ Pam the Funktress, Riley has helped The Coup's sounds evolve, from early '90s Afroethnicity to 21st century Raptivism. Along the way, they've released four classic and award-winning albums: Kill My Landlord (1993), Genocide and Juice (1994), Steal this Album (1998), Party Music (2001), which was named “best rap album of the year” by numerous publications including Rolling Stone and Village Voice, and “best pop album of the year” by the Washington Post. Regarding their most recent album Pick a Bigger Weapon, Rolling Stone calls it “the rare record that makes revolution sound like hot fun on a Saturday night.” Boots also appears with dead prez on the compilation CD No More Prisons. Riley was raised amidst political action in Oakland, California, where since the age of fifteen he's been involved in organizing and inspiring youth. From student organizing in Oakland's public schools, to serving on the central committee for the Progressive Labor Party, holding the presidential position for InCAR (International Committee Against Racism), and organizing to build California's Anti-Racist Farm Workers' Union, Riley has been an integral part of a progressive struggle for radical change through culture. Boots is currently working on pre-production for his film (and accompanying soundtrack) Sorry to Bother You.
This event is part of SFAI’s Committee on Diversity and Equity (CODE) presents BLACK FUTURES MONTH.
Image courtesy of the artist.