When: Fri., Nov. 30, 8 p.m. 2012
Oakland-based rap group the Coup attracted attention in the mid-90s by combining far-left agitprop lyrics with laid-back 70s-style funk, both of which dovetailed in their own way with the blaxploitation-hero sartorial sense of front man Boots Riley. Since then the group has weathered an accidental controversy—their original album artwork for Party Music, created before 9/11 and promptly replaced afterward, showed them blowing up the World Trade Center—and survived a terrifying bus crash, but Riley and his principal partner, DJ Pam the Funkstress, have lost none of their edge. If anything, last month's Sorry to Bother You (Anti-) is provocative even by Coup standards. Riley's lyrics are as prickly as ever, taking aim at everyone from politically detached rappers to the feds ("Tell Homeland Security we are the bomb"), and this time around the music is just as challenging. The opening salvo, "The Magic Clap," sounds like a hip-hop version of Ian Svenonius's garage-funk outfit Chain & the Gang, and on "Your Parents' Cocaine" he rips on spoiled trust-fund babies over what has to be one of the most kazoo-intensive beats in rap history. —Miles Raymer Japanther and SamIAm the MC open.