Watch: The Coup's "Guillotine" Is A Funky Agitprop Masterpiece
With the election only weeks away, it's a perfect time for a new video from the Coup, the radical Oakland hip-hop group whose leader, Boots Riley, was one of the loudest agitators in the city's Occupy movement. The group is back with a new album, Sorry to Bother You, on Oct. 30, and the first taste is a funky, hip-hop hybrid that anchors itself pretty much immediately in your ears.
Riley on Oakland's yellow brick road
The group's new clip for "Guillotine" also doesn't bother with much subtlety in its indictment of the 1 percent: Riley and crew come as characters from an Oakland version of Wizard of Oz -- with Riley as the scarecrow -- and head to the money-grubbing wizard's inner sanctum to take their revenge on the top-hatted banker. What does that revenge entail? We bet you can guess.
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In an interview with Wired, where this video premiered, Riley says the clip is meant to remind people that big changes can only begin with themselves -- not with choosing the right politician.
"Elections are not an effective model for change," Riley said. "None of the progressive changes we've had over the last century came from electing the right politician. If you have a militant mass movement that is able to physically stop profits at production and distribution sites, you can make any politician do what you want. Politicians are puppets; we're going after the puppetmasters."
Riley and the Coup go after them pretty hard in this new video. Check it out, and catch the Coup performing at the Treasure Island Music Festival this Saturday, on the Tunnel Stage at 1:30 p.m.