Sunday, December 31, 2006

Boots Riley of The Coup Could Use Some Help

We interrupt our sports coverage for important music icon news...

Way back when, in 1991, or so, I'd guess, I came home from school and as I often did, I flipped on a little B.E.T.'s "Rap City". A lot of it was crap, but every once in awhile, a great artist that wasn't getting any MTV love would show up. That was the day that I first encountered The Coup. Their first single was a mindblower for me--called simply "Dig It", it contained some of the most straightforward subversive protest music I had ever heard (and I was a fan of Billy Bragg & Phil Ochs by age 15). Even the kind of throwaway lyrics were full of the kind of angry protest that I thought should have been all over the damn place. The lead into the break was, "Turn the beat over like Bush did a boatload of Haitians."

It was awesome. I've purchased every single album that the Coup has put together since. Genocide and Juice won some award for most important hip-hip record of the decade, or something like that. And it was well deserved.

But so here's the deal. The Coup were touring with Mr. Lif (pretty damn cool in his own right) and their tour bus had an accident. The kind that people die in. No one did, but people were injured, and all of their gear went up in flame. The Coup needs some help. And it would be a damn shame if Boots and Pam, and their musicians were delayed in any way of making their kick-ass party protest music.

As Boots puts it:

We lost everything in that crash and fire. We were packed to live and do shows on that bus for a month. Most of us had every stitch of clothing we owned on there. We lost clothes, computers, recording equipment, cameras, IDs, phones, keys to cars and homes. We lost cash.We lost all our damn instruments and equipment to perform with. We were and are happy to walk away with our lives. But now we're home. Most of the band touring with The Coup has kids, rent that won't quit, bills, and holiday expenses coming. We need money, because like I said the band doesn't have the tools that they make a living with. Not only did we lose cash and material things on the bus, but we also were depending on this tour for money to make it through. It may take a year for us to see any money from the insurance company.

So, make a donation. You can do so here. I'm plunking down $50. But do whatever you can.

In return, here's a link to a free download (right-click and select Save Target As..) to The Coup's "My Favorite Mutiny" from their newest album, Pick a Bigger Weapon.

Thanks, and remember--beauty is a natural fact, so I say fuck a perm!

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