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Pick a Bigger Weapon


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Audio CD, April 25, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hailing from Oakland, CA, this duo takes well thought out, radical politics and infuses them with the energy of artfully inspired hip-hop. Soulful funky beats and cleverly crafted rhymes make the politics of the record easily accessible to a wider audience.

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Let's face it: Most rap artists aren't interviewed by Political Affairs, a self-proclaimed "Marxist monthly," but then again, Boots Riley isn't your typical rap artist. The "raptivist" certainly doesn't mince words on Pick a Bigger Weapon, the Coup's first release in five years. (You may remember the Oakland duo's previous release, 2001's Party Music, with its original pre-9/11 cover shot of them blowing up the Twin Towers.) In 2006, Riley's acidic political and social commentary has never been sharper or timelier, and his keen sense of humor plus the fluid, soul-drenched beats (courtesy of partner Pam the Funkstress and a stellar session band) make it insanely palatable. The truly vital "My Favorite Mutiny," which also features Talib Kweli and the Roots' Black Thought, pulses with funk rhythms and punctuating horns while three of rap's smoothest spitters deliver the straight dope. Riley offers a radical history lesson on "Head (Of State)": "Bush and Hussein together in bed... billions made and millions dead." On "We Are the Ones," he warns, "we're the have-nots, but we're also the gon'-gets." The slow jam "BabyLet'sHaveaBabyBeforeBushDoSomethin'Crazy," with singer Silk E, is witty, seductive, and poignant all at the same time. In his PA interview, Riley says Pick a Bigger Weapon is full of "anthems for the struggle," and like the best of George Clinton, James Brown, and KRS-One, this is music for your mind, body, and soul. Is it too much to ask to have this added to high school curricula? --Marc Greilsamer

1. Bullets And Love
2. We Are The Ones
3. Laugh/Love/Fuck
4. My Favorite Mutiny
5. I Just Wanna Lay Around All Day In Bed With You
6. Head (Of State)
7. Shoyoass
8. Yes Em To Death
9. Ass- Breath Killers
10. Get That Monkey Off Your Back
11. Mindfuck
12. Two Enthusiastic Thumbs Down
13. I Love Boosters!
14. Tiffany Hall
15. Babyletshaveababybeforebushdosomethingcrazy
16. Captain Sterlings Littel Problem
17. The Stand

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epitaph / Ada
  • ASIN: B000EQ46PK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on August 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who tries to tell me that rap is all about bling bling and a glamorized drug culture needs to take a listen to the Coup. This group does what I thought couldn't be done, they make intelligent, funny, and poignant rap music with a deep groove and a sense of how to rock a party. In fact, this Oakland duo is making party music for the coming revolution.

The Coup is Pam the Funkstress as DJ and Boots Riley, MC. Pam's work is amazing here, both as a scratcher and as a producer with an ear for big fun grooves. The influence of classic funk is all over this CD. Jams like Laugh/Love/F*&% and Monkey Off Your Back have a serious four on them that recalls classic P-Funk, while Shoyoass has a keyboard solo on it that might have come straight from Bernie Worell. Even the sillier stuff like Head (of State) and I Love Boosters are characterized by grooves that won't quit and make your feet want to get up and move. In fact, if another rapper was over top these beats it not hard to imagine any number of them as club hits.

But another rapper isn't working in this duo and thank God for that. Boots Riley is one of the more gifted and intelligent rappers working today. His rhymes are passionate, often very funny, and occasionally moving without the "slice of life" street violence of even the most socially conscious mainstream rappers. What other rapper would mix a call to revolution with a call to party. ("If I can't change the world I ain't leavin'/Baby that's why you should call me this ev'nin') Boots wants revolution, there's no question. He mixes a street smart sensibility with fairly well developed revolutionary thought, but he is at his most humorous when he's most political.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Layne on June 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the sexiest revolution record since "What's Going On" and the smartest state-of-the-world dance record since the peak of The Clash. I've had this playing constantly since I bought it.

"My Favorite Mutiny" will catch a lot of people, as it should. "Laugh/Love/F**k" is what "Songs in the Key of Life" would've sounded like if Huey Newton was on the mic. "The Stand" is beautiful & heartbreaking, with the threatened violence not about putting up a front but the last stand of a family man who has been pushed to the edge -- filled with lush strings, wah-wah guitar and a warm Hammond organ. The whole thing has an early Prince feel peeking out behind the 70s funk.

The musicians are all superb. It sounded like Parliament players and it turns out some of them are on the sessions. Boots Riley is that hip-hop guy Bob Dylan predicted (in the autobiography "Chronicles") would be the one to carry on the serious work.

A few of the last tracks lose a little steam, but even those are growing on me. Good good good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By www.TheSlapReport.com on February 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Coup is one of the best ways to get aquainted with the Bay, with Oakland. Listen to any of The Coup albums - Kill My Landlord, Genocide & Juice, Steal This Album, etc. - what we are essentially listening to is a soulful, funky, clever, bold, uncompromising, satirical, often downright funny indictment of the streets of Oakland, of the toiling, underprivileged, communities of the world, and, perhaps most importantly, of the oppressive political structure - capitalism - that keeps the poor, poor, and the rich, rich. What has made The Coup one of the best and most consistent rap groups to ever come from Oakland, what has made them a benchmark of "conscious hip hop" everywhere, is their unique ability to draw from the diversity of Oakland, and not fall into what I like to refer to as the clichéd, suburban, granolaism inherent in most socially aware rap music. Boots taps into the history of Oakland: the poverty, the violence, the drug game, the pimping, the politics, and produces a unique sound well outside of anything corny like this. Where granola rap sacrifices good music for a (self-proclaimed) good message, The Coup is able to do both: make good, catchy, often danceable music with a good message. Not just music you can learn from, but slap in the trunk too. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true of Pick A Bigger Weapon. I found myself captivated more by Boots' content than the songs themselves. The production and overall catchiness of this album isn't really as good as it should be and has been.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ADAM STANHOPE on May 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Boots and Pam have done it again. There are still some better tunes (Funk, Pimps) from earlier albums - but this album is 100% Coup and 100% funky. The best tune on the album is My Favorite Mutiny - fantastico. The Coup still rules.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chandler on May 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I couldn't agree more with Scott (two reviews below me), but on to the album.

The Coup's 5th album "Pick A Bigger Weapon" has raised the bar since "Party Music", Boots Riley comming at you with more political rhymes about the inner work force and some recent events. I've just gotten into their music early this year, and since then I haven't looked at my job the same.

"Laugh/Love/F***" is a good song with a nice head nodding beat that many will like. "My Fav Mutiny" features vocals from Black Thought of The Roots and Talib Kweli from Black Star, an instant stand out track right there, and may attract new listeners. The long distintive title "ijuswannalayaroundalldayinbedwithyou" is a very slow song revolving around the clock at the job. "ShoYoA**" and "A** Breath" will take you back to the old Coup days of what they used to talk about (And I thought Pam was just going to be on the cover and not do anything, but she actually says a few words and gets her scratches in the "ShoYoA**" song) "A** Breath" is a no brainer if you're familar with The Coup (even if you're not, you can guess what that song talks about). I recommend that you don't take the song "I Love Boosters" into action unless you're very good at it. It's a song about the reason why people shoplift to resale the clothes to make money. (And if you're working at a retail shop, it wouldn't be a good idea to clap if you see someone run out of the store with unpaid clothes...but it's all humor though). "BabyLet'sHaveABaby..." singer/rapper Silk E. sings a somewhat of an emotional song, basically repeating the title with some extra vocals. "The Stand" is the final track on the CD on and it'll nod your head over the topic of standing up for what you believe in.
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