The Coup is the name of a Marxist hip-hop group fronted by "Boots" Riley. Currently the only other member is Pam the Funkstress. They are based in Oakland, California. They formed as a three-member group in 1992 (the third, E-Roc, left on amicable terms after their second album), with the debut album "Kill My Landlord". In 1994 they released their second album, "Genocide and Juice". For the next few years they released nothing, but came back in 1998 with the independently-produced but critically-acclaimed "Steal This Album". In 2001, they released "Party Music" to widespread praise; however, due to distribution problems sales of the album were low.
The Coup is politically radical in their music and aligns themselves with other radical hip-hop groups like Dead Prez. Their music is characterized by electronic sounds and bass-driven backbeats overlaid by humorous, cynical and sometimes violent lyrics criticizing capitalism, prostitution, America politics, and police brutality, among other things.
They gained some national attention for the cover art of their recording Party Music, which depicted members of the band standing in front of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as they are destroyed by huge explosions. Coincidentally, the album's planned release date was just after the events of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack. There was no proven connection between the band and the attacks. The album release was held back as alternative cover art was prepared.