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Genocide & Juice

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The problem with most political rappers is that they frequently alienate themselves from their audience by criticizing fellow rappers and talking down to them. The Coup’s Genocide & Juice took the opposite tact, as group leader Boots Riley included Bay Area gangsta rappers like Spice-1 and E-40 in his juicy criticisms of the capitalist system. “Hip 2 tha Skeme,” “Fat Cats, Bigga Fish,” and “The Name Game” refuse to differentiate between street culture and revolutionary theory. Within a few years rappers would be openly idolizing CEOs, but the sidesplitting and scathing “Pimps (Free Stylin’ at the Fortune 500)” is a more persuasive take on corporate culture.


Formed: Oakland, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Coup were one of the most overtly political bands in rap history. Formed in the early '90s, the Coup were obviously influenced by the black power rhetoric of "conscious" rappers like Public Enemy and KRS-One, but they were perhaps even more inspired by a heavy-duty, leftist reading list that included Marx and Mao. Lead rapper/producer Boots (born Raymond Riley) was involved in political activism long before he was a musician. His fervent dedication to social change, from his work with the Young...
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