The Coup, Samiam the MC, Stypes, OBY | Reggies’ Rock Club | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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The Coup, Samiam the MC, Stypes, OBY 18+ Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: $20, $15 in advance
For as long as pop music has existed, artists perceived as transgressive—Lucille Bogan, Elvis Presley, Ozzy Osbourne, N.W.A—have been dogged by moral panics. But the periodic hand-wringing about kids these days has always been about policing racial and class minorities; music is necessary only as a symbolic battleground that provides the oppressors with plausible deniability. Need proof? If our overlords really believed that a song could turn the public’s heart away from the One True Path, they’d work a lot harder to silence the Coup. This Oakland hip-hop troupe, cofounded in 1991 by front man Boots Riley, combines left-of-socialist radicalism and roof-raising funk so accessibly and infectiously that the reptilians at Bohemian Grove ought to be on high alert. “Your Parents’ Cocaine,” from the Coup’s most recent album, 2012’s Sorry to Bother You (Anti-), sounds like a sardonic party song (the band plays the bouncy main riff on kazoos) but indicts the drug war’s calculated blindness to the crimes of the rich and white. (“Narcos kicked my windows out / They beat and dragged me out the house / They don’t give a fuck about / Your parents’ cocaine.”) “The Guillotine” slips and slides on a greasy synth-bass line worthy of Funkadelic, while its lyrics remind us that, for better or worse, nothing happens without the consent of the 99 percent. (“They got the TV, we got the truth / They own the judges and we got the proof.”) And “Land of 7 Billion Dances” weds wah-wah guitar and stomping, syncopated garage-rock drums to a rallying cry straight out of the Occupy movement. (“Shut ’em down, close the books / Them dudes in the boardroom, those is crooks / Take it to the street—’bows and hooks / If you stop they money, they froze and shook.”) The Coup travels as a six-piece live band (cofounder Pam the Funkstress rarely tours), which makes its shows even more fun than its records. —Philip Montoro
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