Boots Riley has been kicking around since the early ’90s as the frontman of the politicised funk-rap crew The Coup — as well as a prominent Oakland activist — and the man is an underrated American treasure. The Coup are back this week with Sorry to Bother You, their sixth studio LP and first release since 2006’s Pick a Bigger Weapon, following Riley’s middling rap-rock effort with Tom Morrello as Street Sweeper Social Club. This album continues the Sly & the Family Stone-esque funk-rock direction of the last, even adding some new punk rock stylings to the proceedings on tracks such as openers ‘The Magic Clap’ and ‘Strange Arithmetic’. The first single ‘Your Parents’ Cocaine’ is a weird kazoo-driven number that has been given a Eat The Fish Presents-directed clip this week starring puppets indulging in the titular drug. An instant standout is the album closing ‘WAVIP’, which features current indie-rap favourites Killer Mike and Das Racist and is most likely to garner some crossover interest. On first listen this is another impressive effort from Riley, blending upbeat music and left-wing political lyrics into party-rap anthems as nimbly as ever, and while it may lack the immediacy or relevance of their 1998 classic Steal This Album, there is still plenty to admire on Sorry to Bother You and I recommend fans and newcomers alike take a listen
Sorry to Bother You is out now. Stream it below (via NME).
Watch the video for ‘Your Parents’ Cocaine’ below.