The Coup are one of the most overtly political bands in rap history (or rock history, for that matter). Formed in the early '90s and still going strong, the Coup were influenced by the black power rhetoric of "conscious" rappers like Public Enemy and KRS-One, but they were perhaps even more inspired by a heavy-duty, leftist reading list that included Marx and Mao. Lead rapper/producer Boots (born Raymond Riley) was involved in political activism long before he was a musician; his fervent dedication to social change is the overriding influence on every Coup album.
Musically, Coup also stand apart from the rest of the Hip Hop scene. While their early records did utilize the sample-based technology that is the cornerstone of the Hip Hop aesthetic, the group evolved into a hard hitting Funk-Rock extravaganza with a full band that showcases Boots' childhood influences like Prince, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Stevie Wonder. While the recordings are funky as hell, their live shows built up a reputation for a sound that's as hard-hitting as their incendiary message. Boots is also respected as one of the best lyricists in Hip Hop and renowned for his incredible storytelling abilities which have been likened to that of Slick Rick or Ice Cube.