The Coup’s Party Music, originally planned to feature a cover image of Boots Riley blowing up the World Trade Center, while Pam The Funkstess waved a composer stick, an image created before the events of September 11. While Boots has stated that the cover was meant to symbolize the destruction of Capitalism – not the murder of some 5000 people – needless to say, that version of the album cover was nixed by the higher ups. Despite the tragic events, a move like this by his label is exactly what gives Boots the fuel to his fire of burning flags, in turn, churning out another album of incredibly funky tracks (many that would have got him blacklisted 50 years ago), such as “5 Million Ways To Kill A C.E.O.”.
Four album’s deep, The Coup’s Party Music continues the trend started on Kill My Landlord – the sticky-icky funk, usually reserved for his Bay Area “patna’s”, Digital Underground, The Luniz , or Too $hort, but strong political lyrics typically found on records by Public Enemy. Boots plays the part of the militant ghetto spokesman once again, attacking wall street golden boys on “Lazymuthafucka”; or on “Wear Clean Draws”, an open letter to his daughter, he states “Tell your teacher princesses are evil / that got their money cuz they killed people / If somebody hit you, hit ‘em back / then negotiate a peace contract”. Boots stance is offensive as it is entertaining (in a Kill My Landlord sort of way).
While Party Music sticks to the script, it does lack the everghetto sense of humor found on their 1999 release, Steal This Album. There are no songs about “Cars & Shoes” or “Sneakin’ In” on this album, but instead, more abrasive and less entertaining riot anthems, such as “Get Up” or “Ride The Fence”. Furthermore, The Coup also resorts to using familiar melodies from already proven party music, such as “8th Wonder” (“Everythang”) and Tha Eastsidaz “Got Beef” (“Pork And Beef”) Nevertheless, Party Music does have it’s Coup staple songs, such as “Ghetto Manifesto” or “Nowalaters”; forever funky tracks making it worthy of the price of admission, especially for The Coup’s longtime band of bedroom revolutionaries.
Unfortunately for them, The Coup’s “fuck-the-police-and-burn-the-flag” attitude couldn’t be timed worse after this country’s newfound sense of patriotism, and it’s unlikely that they’ll win too many new fans with Party Music, thanks to its underlying messages. Ironically, their fantasy that was to be portrayed on their album cover has come true, and in the long run, may have bitten them in the ass.
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