The first time I checked out The Coup, I assumed the group contained more than one emcee and a DJ – however, the duo of Boots Riley and Pam The Funkstress make up The Coup like no other two could. For quite some time now, the two have put out album after album to a loyal following stemming from California. Their obvious blue collar solidarity has always been present, and on “Pick A Bigger Weapon,” we see that thought pattern still remains.
Boots is one of those emcees that manage to hold his own, completely. Lyrically he can be both witty and poignant, plus the cadence he pushes and his varied tones accentuate every line he utters.
“Pick A Bigger Weapon” explores the everyday thought pattern of the working man. “Laugh / Love / F*ck” summarizes our (well, my) typical attitude towards life with our attitude towards relaxing on the hook “I’m here to laugh, love, f*ck and drink liquor!”
Another gem is “My Favorite Mutiny” featuring Black Thought and Talib Kweli. Boots conjures up a march-esque feel with his beat, which Kweli and Thought ride just how you’d hope. “I Just Wanna Lay Around All Day In Bed With You” is another notable song with Boots calmly and smoothly talking about staying with his lady friend, instead of heading to work.
The album also remains true to the group’s reputation with tracks like “The Stand” and “Head (Of State).” The latter is aimed at the Hussein/Bush oil sagas and is actually one of those political songs which you feel surprised is so catchy. Boots’ verses are simple, yet well written and the funky beat/simple hook fit in brilliantly.
“Pick A Bigger Weapon” features a mixture of themes, including very funky tracks like “ShoYoAss.” There’s also “Ass Breath Killers,” which comically begins with an employee whining to a co-worker, then bowing down as his boss comes forth. The song features Boots talk about taking “Ass Breath Killers” – a mint like option to aid in standing up to those that look down upon you within. “Mindfuck” falls within the same lines, however it’s more so aimed at the government subconsciously dictating your actions.
“I Love Boosters!” is without question the album’s choice track. The cutely sung hook of “I love the boosters / They love the boosters / You should love them too” is priceless. The song itself discusses how getting “boosted” product is great. Someone gets it from “somewhere” and you get the item for a fraction of what the stores charge – who doesn’t love that?
“Pick A Bigger Weapon” is an album which expresses the thoughts of people like you and I who have to work for our next meal and our small luxuries. It emphasizes how we’re essentially programmed through our governments and bosses to do as we’re told or face consequences. But the truth is, most of us just want to “Laugh, love, f*ck and drink liquor” and as Boots also says, “Help the damned revolution come quicker.” I’m content with the first four for now.