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The Coup Pick A Bigger Weapon Epitaph • 2006

Ten and something years after The Coup’s first album, 'Kill My Landlord', this Oakland group is now a duo, consisting of original members Bootsy Riley and DJ Pam The Funkstress. The latter only being responsible for the scratches, she’s not really the key to the music of The Coup. Nah, the ones really responsible for this album’s sound are a range of guest musicians such as fellow-revolutionist and former Rage Against The Machine guitar player Tom Morello, D’wayne Wiggins and former musicians of Parliament, The Gap Band, Frankie Beverly & Maze and Toni! Tony! Toné!.

In the legacy of vintage 70s funk acts, this album floats on basslines, synth loops and too-cool-for-school choruses. 'Pick A Bigger Weapon' is a musically rich album of which the first part really impresses. The club banger 'We Are The Ones' for instance, with a dazzling guitar loop, uplifting drums and very playful lyrics by Bootsy, rhymin with a teasing vocal cadence, never forgetting how to condemn political and social incorrectness 'We have no excuses, just great alibis and poker faces you can’t analyze, our politicians sell soul and our cries, with blood on their hands you can’t sanitize'. The Coup wouldn’t be a coup if the content wasn’t suggesting a revolution. Like in the extra-P-funky lick 'Laugh/Love/Fuck', with the ultra-catchy chorus 'I’m here to laugh, love, fuck and drink liquor, and help the damn revolution come quicker'. Of course, it don’t last long before Bush gets a piece of mockery. In 'Head (Of State)' the not-too-far-sought but explicit chorus goes 'Bush and Hussein layin in bed, giving H-E-A-D, head', definitely a song-to-be-mentioned-in-every-review, so here you have it. 'My Favorite Mutiny', the album’s first single with guest features by fellow revolutionists Black Thought 'the governments of the world is shark infested, they heavy on weaponry like Charlton Heston, man' and Talib Kweli 'I’ll go a step deeper like a Poor Righteous Teacher with Holy Intellect, killa flow for all my real niggas left'. Charachterized by threatening bass plucks and strings that fit Black Thought well (keep in mind the latest Roots effort 'The Tipping Point', especially 'Don’t Say Nuthin'), this song has a nice built-up enhancing tension and atmosphere.

'Ijustwannalayaroundalldayinbedwithyou' (you can guess a sweet P-funk love cut from the length of the song title) is another winner when it comes down to building tension, culminating in an ear fest with nice arrangements and different instruments involved (a mouth harmonica and heroic strings jumpin in at the end). The line 'I go to work at 9, if he don’t pay me by 5 I’mma burn the place down by 5.02' perfectly matches the picture on the front cover of the album. The middle of the record leaves a pale impression with no real highlights but a bunch of skits. Only exceptions: the comical 'Ass Breathe Killers' and the Snoop Doggish 'Get That Monkey Of Your Back', but not until 'I Love Boosters!', the album gets entertaining again.

None the less funk is back in hip-hop. If you would translate a good ol' Bomb Squad produced album or an early Ice Cube and Erick Sermon production to the year 2006, it probably would sound something like this. Boots Riley is the Bootsy Collins of hip-hop and has managed to put together a great thing on his own, puttin The Coup back on the map, having us reminiscing on the excellent 'Steal This Album' (what we actually did, but only to get in the spirit of the album, shhht!).

POSTED ON 04|26|2006 by engelbert humperfunk

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