Youth in Action

The Coup: Steal this Album

By PAUL M.

Every now and then a new hip-hop artist comes along who manages to convey a revolutionary message as well as making tight music. KRS-One, Paris, and Public Enemy immediately come to mind.

As soon as I heard the first line off of the Coup’s first album, called “Kill My Landlord,” in 1993, I knew that they should be added to the list. “Presto, I read the Communist Manifesto.” Yes!

This Oakland hip-hop crew (Boots and Pam the Funkstress) has returned to drop their third album, called ‘Steal This Album.” This release, on Dogday Records, mixes funky beats, skilled MCing, and a revolutionary political message.

It is a welcome change from the whack samples, materialistic lyrics, and phony images that have characterized mainstream hip-hop over the last year.

It’s hard not to laugh when you compare Jay-Z’s “money ain’t a thing,” or any Master P or Puffy song, to “cars and shoes” off the Coup’s album. The Coup’s song is a hilarious description of riding around in broken-down old Pintos and Datsuns.

Talk about keeping it real. After listening to this song, you can almost see the phoniness emanating off your average MTV rapper.

Other songs get more political. On the track called “U.C.P.A.S.” (undas, cops, pigs, and shit), the Coup breaks down the police from a socialist viewpoint.

“The po-po’s supposed to keep the peace? / They gotta make the bosses money increase. / You never seen a police break up a strike / by hittin’ the boss wit his baton pipe.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The Coup are making some of the most creative music in hip-hop right now. They also have some of the best political and social commentary that I have heard in a long time.

I would encourage any hip-hop fan to pick up this album. Dub it. Buy it. Steal it. Get it anyway you can.