It’s both a tour de force and a, if you excuse the expression, and sorry to spoil ya, tour de horse.
Did i mention time got The Coup their first gig at Fillmore? This guy.
chang not goodby jeff: Hip-hop hasn’t been this controversial since the early ’90s, when acts like Public Enemy and Ice Cube garnered headlines and fans for their contrarian political stances. On the Coup’s fourth record, the group, which proudly proclaims itself anti-corporate and “anti-Republican and -Democrat” (“If they self-destruct, that’s anticlimactic,” says Boots), comes ready with answers for its critics. At a time when millionaire rappers waste precious CD time airing their personal beefs with each other, the Coup takes on big targets–capitalist greed, police brutality, government corruption–while trying to connect with the smaller-than-life.
One of the best jobs was delivering Anthology Film Archives program guide to hip places in Manhattan, in 2001, including to Two Boots.
edit to add (and i aint even wrote the mother fucker yet): I’m going East Bay today and I will divert to 30th and West in honor of Pam the Funkstress, who was Boots Riley’s partner in crime (blowing up tall buildings, killing CEO’s so to speak, in Roberta Flack sort of way methinks) in The Coup. I hope I didn’t lose their cds in the move. I had the original cover that got them investigated. It was the bomb. Also, I will try to wear purple, I may have to buy purple. Bye, Purple. (Movie ends with two dedications. She was 52 and went to Burlingame High. Reminds me of the time I hired Brown Fellinis and Charlotte the Baroness came but could not play because nobody advanced the show enough to tell shithead promoter to provide the turntables. I paid her a kill fee. I may or may not have met Pam. At the Fillmore. Maybe she’s in the Heavy House Band wit Candye Kane.
and1(this is the way Plastic Alto rolls, or roils or riles):
Peter Hartlaub (2006)
“Pop Culture” columnist
San Francisco Chronicle
I enjoyed reading your column Wednesday (“Shaq
that it has inspired in me such an effusive response:
I agree with you wholeheartedly that recordings and
concerts by celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal say
much more about the nature of celebrity per se than
they do about any specific topic or lyric, that they
are more about the medium than the message, if you
will. More precisely, if I can add my two cents worth,
Shaq’s work is problematic specifically because it is
a vanity project.
In my opinion, if Shaquille O’Neal calls a press
conference at the conclusion of the NBA finals, win or
lose, and announces that he is retiring from
basketball to devote his life full-time to recording
and touring as a rapper, I would find that laudable.
Notwithstanding his ineptitude as a performer, by
joining that ranks of a nation of starving, struggling
and “emerging” artists — more like the Boots Rileys,
Brendan Fowlers and Kamir Sen’s of the world than the
movie-star wannabes like Russell Crowe et al that you
list in your story — he would be doing them a tribute
and a great service. Even more so if he was able to
work in the indie realm and try to bypass, boycott or
destroy* the major label system (i.e. refusing to do
business with the four or five multinationals that
produce and benefit from 80 percent of all records
sold in the U.S. and thereby arguably hold back
thousands of worthier artists that the system is not
backing; bypassing or boycotting Live Nation and its
venues including the Fillmore; selling tickets on
virtuous.com not Ticketmaster, etc.).
I’ve worked as an artist manager and concert promoter
in the “indie realm” for a number of years now and
have come to believe that there is something viable
and commendable about every artistic utterance and
striving and that likewise there is no minimum level
of acceptance or acclaim that validates an emerging
artist’s career or skill set or oeuvre. In that
context I believe that even Shaquille O’Neal — as bad
as you say he is — can atone for his sins and refute
your article by taking the steps I’ve suggested here.
Worse than bad, his vanity work is a mockery of hip
hop, yet not hopelessly irredeemable.
Can I get your digits beyond 1, 2, 3?
(His output might be more deplorable for example if he
merely slogged his way through lame covers of other
artists’ previously released rhymes and beats — at
least he’s setting a straw-man standard of expression
that today’s youth can go out and surpass; maybe he
can start a “Shaquille O’Neal Music Camp” where
campers will after one week surpass their master or
reader in Palo Alto
(not for publication)
*Is it also possible that Shaquille O’Neal is aware of
the pernicious nature of the major-label dynamic and
his own celebrity and is in fact secretly trying to
sabotage or monkeywrench the system by producing such
losing efforts and performances?
edit to add, 12 days later: There’s a 10:45 a.m. screening of “Sorry to Bother You” and what a way to start my week that would be to take another peek at the future like that. It’s 7:30 now so that would be three hours into the future, if I can predict that far ahead, or project. Meanwhile I left two random messages at an art gallery in Chicago — my kind of town and my kin of town — and namechecked this movie and also Sun Ra, Star Trek and Anna Fermin. Northern Lights, where do they go? I’ve been searching, high and low. I’ve spoken about Sorry To Bother You probably 20 times in the last two weeks, a couple times (a coup) to phone-workers, especially if there voices sound black. Also, i namechecked both Boots and S2BY to Jessie Williams a light-skinned black television star who went to Temple and ate a burrito last week here in the 650. Also, Terry my Terry and now Terry My Wife (TMW) drove thru San Benito County and I think I shot a picture of a road sign that said “Boots” — I am channeling “boots”. I thought I would be in NYC last week — and had promised a dude I’d check Brooklyn Botanical Gardens — but destiny took a hand.
Also, I bought a purple Buddha plastic icon from a Japanese gift and toy shop here on Bryant Street Palo Alto –across from Ramen Nagi my fave — and meant to leave it somewhere in Oakland in tribute to Pam Warren aka Pam the Funkstress aka but news to me and a little late “Purple Pam” (i.e. she who ran the Prince tribute ie. “Purple Rain”) but then I gifted it to a nearly total stranger I met who was moving into a condo here in my neighborhood, from Shanghai or Hong Kong and it seemed to be as good a house warming Buddha as a mournful Buddha. I also tried to buy a purple trucker’s hat at a boutique in Carmel on Ocean called Coastal Crossing or something (with a nice lady named Page or Paige helping TMW, and then sent us across the street to buy T from a nice lady named Orsenia or something) but wifey thought the purple had looked silly on me so I opted and traded for one advertising the store. I probably have about 30 caps now and about four or five new ones including Counting Crows and a Desmond Green 23 hat (which is a reference in my mind to the rock band, Small 23). Apropos of Corbett and Dempsey I am recalling shooting a picture of a boxer in a bar somewhere I cannot quite grasp. I’m a little rope dopey. That’sa thing. There are manos de Piedra (Hands of Stone, Roberto Duran) but also Edward Durell Stone who designed both the Palo Alto main library (Rinconada, stupid name, I say change it to Stone or The Stone) but also Kennedy Center in DC — where Henry Butler played in 2003 and then Corey Harris solo later that month. Two thousand two actually, the Billy Taylor Christmas show. There’s also both Sammie White who caught touchdowns for the Purple People Easters Minnesota Vikings pro football and Sammie White who played a Hollywood flunkie in a 1940s or 1950s flick i caught, but not a flea-flicker — which would be a great name for a rep house in Atherton — or even as a one-off or pop-up, but not a pop-off or one-up — “The Bad and the Beautiful” at Stanford Theatre — where I also met the local version of Jonathan Richman in “Something about Mary” Will or Mars Marsden, a tall redhead who used to introduce movies to life audience at Guild and Aquarius theatre before going legit for Packy. He says he is Will Marsden pka Will Mars but I think he should try Mars Marsden period. Also I may publish for first time here, in Plastic Alto, but I sent it around a few times as old school mailer Earthwise Spy List, with recent avails I may or may not be promiting. Like Matt Jaffe, son of my former The Dartmouth colleague Elisabeth Adair, who was in the Chron recently. Or Lil Elephant I caught in my pajamas. Or in my shorts at least. at Barmel. Will Marsden not to be confused my or jamming with Adam Marsland the Cockeyed Ghost. Now its closer to 8 a.m. and only 2.5 hours until a version of me in a parallel universe is watching a gain “Sorry to Bother You”. I could drive there and sit in Peets and read yesterday’s Chron Sunday and NY Times Sunday and then any of the 20 or more books I bought recently not intending to read.
Sorry to bother you.
Photo of Mark and Duffy by Terry Acebo Davis aka She Who, which is a Haggard reference
edit to add: I met a guy Chris Knipp who is on his way to New York to review 14 more films (adding to 3,000 three with a comma) and he calls this film “wonderful, perverse” or as boots might say slings rocks Egyptian proletariat rising like.