Boots Riley is one of those guys who can ferret out the political subtext of just about anything. On the Coup’s Pick a Bigger Weapon (Epitaph), the ostentatiously Afro’d producer and MC returns repeatedly to the notion of sex as an act of protest–a perfectly natural choice given the retooled P-Funk bump he favors, which is crafted by a flesh-and-blood crew of 70s and 80s R & B hands and augmented by the well-placed scratches of his partner, DJ Pam the Funkstress. Riley sneaks a critique of the capitalist workday into the lazily lustful “IJusWannaLayArounAllDayinBedWithYou,” and the title of “BabyLet’sHaveaBabyBeforeBushDoSomethin’Crazy” tells you pretty much all you need to know about that tune. Anybody rhyming “I’m here to laugh, love, fuck, and drink liquor / And help the damn revolution come quicker” (“Laugh/Love/Fuck”) or celebrating the salutary effect of shoplifting on the inner-city economy (“I Love Boosters!”) clearly knows that enjoying day-to-day life isn’t necessarily antithetical to social and political change. Maybe this enlightened appreciation for hedonism is why Riley doesn’t bother dissing thug superstars the way so many other underground MCs and proponents of “conscious” rap do–or maybe he just knows that the stuff he’s talking about already sounds like a hell of a lot more fun than clubbing with, providing fellatio to, or getting shot by 50 Cent. Opening are the Abstract Giants, Royce, and Skech 185 & Rift Napalm with DJ White Lightning. Sat 6/3, 10 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $12 in advance, $14 at the door, 18+.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Alexandra Warnow.