A series in Sunday Calendar about what Times writers and contributors are listening to right now...
Two things are made clear in the opening moments of "Sorry to Bother You," the latest collection of hip-hop-centric missives from Bay Area agitators the Coup: The times will be tough, but no rebellion will go down without plenty of dancing in the streets.
Opening number "The Magic Clap" acts as a three-minute overture for the album, roping in elements of brassy, psychedelic keyboards, badgering garage-rock guitars and a funky, foot-stomping beat that’s militant in its precision. The lyrical focus of bandleader Boots Riley is even more tightly focused, as the stories throughout "Sorry to Bother You" could be gathered from a few spins around the block. The “morning prayers,” preaches Riley in "The Magic Clap," are "for the car to start."
Elsewhere, "Your Parents’ Cocaine" throws a party for the have-nots with a goofy, kazoo-driven melody, while “The Guillotine” is a call-and-response disco burner that takes aim at those who write their own paychecks. The Coup even manage to get surreal with "We’ve Got a Lot to Teach You, Cassius Green," a slice of mystical, fragile pop that turns your workplace into a Grimm’s fairy tale. Daydreaming, thankfully, is still free of charge.