March 19, 2015

The Coup - Kill My Landlord (1993)

This is one that only the serious hip-hop heads will recognize. The 22 year old Raymond "Boots" Riley, with Ludacris like hair and a dislike for anything to do with capitalism exploded onto the new g-funk scene with one of the most underrated albums of the '90s. As a disclaimer I should say that I may be biased towards The Coup due to their ideology, but I do believe that even if I ignore their political message the album still sounds great. The Coup features two rappers on this album: Boots, who is still rapping with The Coup, and E-Roc, who played a secondary role on this album and left the group after their second release, Genocide & Juice.

But to ignore the politics is not the way to listen to this album. Politics is everything to The Coup, right down to their name, and they still fight on, pushing towards the proletariat revolution. Musically this album is fascinating, driven by beats from the overlooked producer DJ Pam the Funkstress (check these scratching skills), with a combined influence of g-funk and more classic west coast rap. Their next album, Genocide & Juice, is more purely on the g-funk side, and is also excellent.

Kill My Landlord was the answer to the questions unconsciously posed by artists like Public Enemy. Public Enemy let us know that we had to fight the power, but they didn't lay out the solution after the revolution. Boots and E-Roc let us know that the solution is in the communist manifesto and Marx was right all along. The title, perhaps influenced by Eddie Murphy's SNL skit (sorry about the quality, couldn't find a better version), sums up the album's political message well; corporate America must be attacked violently, and the revolution is imminent. As division of wealth in America becomes greater and greater and education receives less and less value, Kill My Landlord becomes incredibly important and poignant. If we all believe in Boots' dream, it'll come true. I don't normally say this, as I think music should be free and sponsored by the public, but if you enjoy this, support The Coup financially if you can afford it (preferably a direct donation so the parasitic record company executives don't skim their shares).


Kill My Landlord