At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap" | Music

At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap"

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Boots Riley and the Coup - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROLINA PERFORMING ARTS
  • Photo courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts
  • Boots Riley and the Coup
Saturday, April 7
Current Artspace + Studio
8 p.m., $25, www.carolinaperformingarts.org

If you combined Gil Scott-Heron, Huey Newton, Tupac, and Kendrick Lamar into one person, the outcome would be political rapper, activist, and poet Boots Riley. To many, Riley is a legend who, along with his electrifying band, The Coup, put the "conscious" in conscious rap with an added punk flair. The collective has roots in both Detroit and Oakland, and the histories of those cities organically inspire the group's radical content. The band's latest record is 2012's Sorry to Bother You, and those songs haven't lost any of their edge over the past six years. The record also shares a title with a comedy film that Riley wrote and directed, which is based on his own experiences working as a telemarketer. Sorry to Bother You premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and it's already floating on plenty of buzz prior to its summertime release. This might be your last chance to catch Riley before he blows up in an entirely new arena.

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