A Song for the Shoplifters

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "I Love Boosters!"
  • Artist: The Coup
  • CD: Pick a Bigger Weapon
  • Genre: Hip-Hop

The Coup's Boots Riley and DJ Pam the Funkstress realize what the best blues and soul artists always knew: Focus on everyday people, and you'll never run out of stories. For nearly 15 years, The Coup has been one of the lone voices speaking to the trials and tribulations of working-class, inner-city black life — a constituency that hip-hop doesn't represent often enough.

The Coup's Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress.

The Coup's Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress address the trials of inner-city life in a funny, funky way. Alexander Warnow hide caption

itoggle caption Alexander Warnow

In the tradition of The Coup's best songs, "I Love Boosters!" speaks to stark daily struggles in a funny way. For The Coup, boosters — also known as shoplifters — constitute an important link in the fashion chain, providing brand-name couture at a significant discount. Quoth Riley: "My shirt is from Stacy, my pants are from Rhonda / My shoes came out the trunk of a baby blue Honda / My wardrobe's in luck if something falls off a truck."

Though The Coup is widely known for its radical politics, this playful anthem isn't so much a call to action as it is a celebration of the little things that make the everyday easier to bear. As Riley acknowledges, it's not like petty theft is going to spark the revolution, but until that day, "All on our own, we survive this with slyness / But when we come together, all our fashion is flyness."

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Purchase Featured Music

Pick a Bigger Weapon

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Pick a Bigger Weapon
Artist
The Coup

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.