The Coup's Boots Riley on His Next Record, Hip-Hop for White Kids, and Loving Battlestar Galactica

It's been almost a decade since 9/11 — which means (among other things) that it's been 10 years since Boots Riley was seemingly everywhere, coolly responding to outrage over some extremely ill-timed album art depicting explosions at World Trade Center. It's also been five years since the last album from the Coup, 2006's critically acclaimed Pick a Bigger Weapon.

But rest assured, the Oakland native has been busy. Aside from releasing and touring an EP and a full-length studio album with Tom Morello as the rap-rock outfit Street Sweeper Social Club, booking speaking engagements on racism, capitalism, and grassroots organizing, and guesting on the upcoming Star Fucking Hipsters album, Riley recently found time to write a feature-length screenplay before heading into the studio to record tracks for a new Coup album, due out at the beginning of next year.

Ahead of the Coup's Aug. 19 show at the Independent, we grabbed a drink with Riley to find out more about what to expect.

So the new Coup album is called Sorry To Bother You, and it's going to serve as the soundtrack to a movie you wrote with the same name. What else can you tell us about the film?

Sorry To Bother You, the movie, is a dark comedy with some magical realism in it. I play the main character, and so far we have Patton Oswalt and David Cross and a few other folks that have said they'll be in it. It's inspired by my time working as a telemarketer — what I learned doing that, which is that, to be good at it you have to scare people a little. You learn how to sort of use your powers of persuasion for evil.

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