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Boots Riley
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About the Author

Boots Riley, is an American poet, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter, humorist, political organizer, community activist, lecturer, and public speaker--best known as the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. He lives in Oakland, California.

Adam Mansbach is the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers Go the Fuck to Sleep and You Have to Fucking Eat. His latest novel, Rage is Back, was named a Best Book of 2013 by NPR and the San Francisco Chronicle and is currently being adapted for television; his previous novels include the California Book Award-winning The End of the Jews and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy. Mansbach is the recipient of a Reed Award, a Webby Award, and a Gold Pollie from the American Association of Political Consultants for his 2012 campaign video "Wake The Fuck Up," starring Samuel L. Jackson. He was the 2009-11 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University, a 2012 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Fellow, and a 2013 Berkeley Repertory Theater Writing Fellow, and will be the 2015 Artist in Residence at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, Salon.com, and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He is currently writing an original screenplay about a young Barack Obama for director Vikram Gandhi. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Reviews


Praise for Boots Riley and The Coup Praise for Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings "Every line of Boots Riley's work brims with the grit of the underdog, burns with rage, wit, and tenderness. It's no secret he is one of the most influential poets and thinkers of this generation."
--Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation "Boots lyrics contain the wit and satire to match their venom and their potent political punch. His intricate yet relatable rhymes are like a combination of a Richard Pryor sketch and a guerrilla warfare manual."
--Tom Morello "Boots's unparalleled lyrics are here, but there's so much more, too--all of it bearing Boots's trademark combination of revolutionary politics, absurdist humor, and rare lyricism. This is a great book about a great man."
--Dave Eggers "Marx wrote, 'To be radical means to go to the root, and the root--is man himself.'" For Boots Riley, 'man' is 'the people, ' the root is where he lives, creates, and resists, and this book is one of the most genuine expressions of a radical voice you will find anywhere. His lyrics, musings, and memories reveal a brother at home in the world; no struggle or corner of the globe goes unthought, unsung, or unmoored from its mythical veneer. No mere compendium of rhymes, Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings is his Red Book--at once a manifesto, a work of art, an archeology of knowledge, a genealogy of revolutionary funk, and a window onto a world of injustice and joy, pain, and possibility. Dig it!"
--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original "The very existence of a person like Boots Riley is a miracle: he unites profound theoretical insights into the deadlocks of global capitalism, authentic political engagement in the Occupy movement, and wonderful musical performances. I am simply proud to be associated with him--as long as guys like Boots are around, the radical Left is not dead!"
--Slavoj Zizek "It's not every day that you have a poet from Oakland kick start a political hip-hop movement, but that's what Boots Riley specializes in: bringing the concentrated, undiluted vision of his area to the world. When you look at the traditions of poetry he evokes from Iceberg Slim, The Watts Prophets, Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, Chuck D, Claude McKay, The Last Poets, Jean Toomer, Saul Williams, Sarah Jones, and more--you can see where this collection of his poetry comes from. This is the sound of twenty-first-century paradox--beautiful, enigmatic, deep like a river. Boots Riley's poetry is distilled from the strength of his insights into the abstract but made all the more powerful for its concerns with the everyday life of the people that his words speak of. As Allen Ginsberg once said, 'Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.' Boots Riley's poetry takes aim at that situation, and puts it front and center, where it should be. Oakland flow, y'all. Check it."
--DJ Spooky "I've always respected and admired Boots' unique style as a lyricist. He is at once a storyteller, agitator, educator, comedian, poet, and emcee with a degree in authenticity and a double major in empathy. I'm happy to see this collection come together from my friend and comrade who is so humble yet an icon in hip-hop. All Bob Marley ever had was redemption songs--and all Boots ever wrote are lyrics of liberation!"
--STIC of dead prez "For more than two decades, the music of Boots Riley and The Coup has been my soundtrack: a spicy synthesis of filthy funk and prophetic political fire. Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings is an epic achievement: twenty-five years of genius between two covers. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."
--Dave Zirin, author, What's My Name, Fool? "Boots Riley is the voice of his generation. There is anger here for a heartless system, but there is also a great deal of compassion and hope for the future of humanity. Inside these lyrics and these sentences can be measured the heart rate of Occupy, BlackLivesMatter, Anonymous, Dreamers, Dream Defenders."
--Vijay Prashad, author, The Poorer Nations "When I tried to open the document a message said, 'unable to open because there is trouble with the content.' Now you know that must be some hip shit!"
--Amiri Baraka Praise for The Coup "The Coup isn't a rock 'n' roll band. It's a hip-hop band. But they are a miracle of everyday life and proved it at Emo's on Saturday night. I have no idea when the Coup turned into one of the best bands on the planet, but here we are."
--Austin American Statesman "I'd be surprised if I see anything at Outside Lands that impresses me more than the Coup's set. It's always the same deal with this East Bay troupe, led by genius rapper Boots Riley. Whether they are playing Coachella or Rock the Bells or, now, Outside, they always seem to outshine the competition."
--San Jose Mercury/ Oakland Tribune "Silk E sings and struts like Tina Turner raised on hip-hop."
--Pitchfork.com "Considerable musical chops... The Coup throws one fine party."
--Los Angeles Times "Incendiary... Live instrumentation to challenge even the wildest rock music."
--Punknews.com

Praise for Boots Riley and The Coup

Praise for Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings "Every line of Boots Riley's work brims with the grit of the underdog, burns with rage, wit, and tenderness. It's no secret he is one of the most influential poets and thinkers of this generation."
--Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation "Boots lyrics contain the wit and satire to match their venom and their potent political punch. His intricate yet relatable rhymes are like a combination of a Richard Pryor sketch and a guerrilla warfare manual."
--Tom Morello "Boots's unparalleled lyrics are here, but there's so much more, too--all of it bearing Boots's trademark combination of revolutionary politics, absurdist humor, and rare lyricism. This is a great book about a great man."
--Dave Eggers "Marx wrote, 'To be radical means to go to the root, and the root--is man himself.'" For Boots Riley, 'man' is 'the people, ' the root is where he lives, creates, and resists, and this book is one of the most genuine expressions of a radical voice you will find anywhere. His lyrics, musings, and memories reveal a brother at home in the world; no struggle or corner of the globe goes unthought, unsung, or unmoored from its mythical veneer. No mere compendium of rhymes, Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings is his Red Book--at once a manifesto, a work of art, an archeology of knowledge, a genealogy of revolutionary funk, and a window onto a world of injustice and joy, pain, and possibility. Dig it!"
--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original "The very existence of a person like Boots Riley is a miracle: he unites profound theoretical insights into the deadlocks of global capitalism, authentic political engagement in the Occupy movement, and wonderful musical performances. I am simply proud to be associated with him--as long as guys like Boots are around, the radical Left is not dead!"
--Slavoj Zizek "It's not every day that you have a poet from Oakland kick start a political hip-hop movement, but that's what Boots Riley specializes in: bringing the concentrated, undiluted vision of his area to the world. When you look at the traditions of poetry he evokes from Iceberg Slim, The Watts Prophets, Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, Chuck D, Claude McKay, The Last Poets, Jean Toomer, Saul Williams, Sarah Jones, and more--you can see where this collection of his poetry comes from. This is the sound of twenty-first-century paradox--beautiful, enigmatic, deep like a river. Boots Riley's poetry is distilled from the strength of his insights into the abstract but made all the more powerful for its concerns with the everyday life of the people that his words speak of. As Allen Ginsberg once said, 'Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.' Boots Riley's poetry takes aim at that situation, and puts it front and center, where it should be. Oakland flow, y'all. Check it."
--DJ Spooky "I've always respected and admired Boots' unique style as a lyricist. He is at once a storyteller, agitator, educator, comedian, poet, and emcee with a degree in authenticity and a double major in empathy. I'm happy to see this collection come together from my friend and comrade who is so humble yet an icon in hip-hop. All Bob Marley ever had was redemption songs--and all Boots ever wrote are lyrics of liberation!"
--STIC of dead prez "For more than two decades, the music of Boots Riley and The Coup has been my soundtrack: a spicy synthesis of filthy funk and prophetic political fire. Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings is an epic achievement: twenty-five years of genius between two covers. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."
--Dave Zirin, author, What's My Name, Fool? "Boots Riley is the voice of his generation. There is anger here for a heartless system, but there is also a great deal of compassion and hope for the future of humanity. Inside these lyrics and these sentences can be measured the heart rate of Occupy, BlackLivesMatter, Anonymous, Dreamers, Dream Defenders."
--Vijay Prashad, author, The Poorer Nations "When I tried to open the document a message said, 'unable to open because there is trouble with the content.' Now you know that must be some hip shit!"
--Amiri Baraka Praise for The Coup "The Coup isn't a rock 'n' roll band. It's a hip-hop band. But they are a miracle of everyday life and proved it at Emo's on Saturday night. I have no idea when the Coup turned into one of the best bands on the planet, but here we are."
--Austin American Statesman "I'd be surprised if I see anything at Outside Lands that impresses me more than the Coup's set. It's always the same deal with this East Bay troupe, led by genius rapper Boots Riley. Whether they are playing Coachella or Rock the Bells or, now, Outside, they always seem to outshine the competition."
--San Jose Mercury/ Oakland Tribune "Silk E sings and struts like Tina Turner raised on hip-hop."
--Pitchfork.com "Considerable musical chops... The Coup throws one fine party."
--Los Angeles Times "Incendiary... Live instrumentation to challenge even the wildest rock music."
--Punknews.com

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