This Is What Happens When Your ‘Punk-Funk Communist Revolution Band’ Goes to Cleveland

By Jamilah King Aug 28, 2014

Boots Riley is the outspoken frontman for The Coup, a hip-hop funk band from Oakland that’s been around for the better part of two decades. The band’s known for, among other things, songs with titles like "5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO," "Fat Cats and Bigga Fish" and "Ghetto Manifesto." It’s decidedly political work, because being black in Oakland is a decidedly political thing. 

All of this was apparently lost on the host and producers of a local Cleveland FOX affiliate who interviewed Riley ahead of the Lakewood Music Fest. They were shocked when Riley described his band as "a punk-funk Communist revolution band" that wants to "make everyone dance while we’re telling them about how we need to get rid of the system" and that "exploitation is the primary contradiction in capitalism."

Riley appeared alongside festival organizer Kelly Flamos, who wound up getting a strongly worded email from the station about his "political rant."

Here’s the email:


Meanwhile, Riley was pleased:

(h/t Spin)