After dropping some variation of the F word at a live performance in Virginia with Galactic recently, Boots Riley, front man for Oakland’s hip-hop/funk group The Coup, got slapped with abusive language charges from local police.
Riley, who Mother Jones profiled in our November/December 2007 issue, claimed the charges were racially motivated, part of a backlash from a recent Afr’Am Festival in Norfolk, at which gospel and R&B performances allegedly generated noise complaints.
The incident is not the first like it for Boots:
The openly communist, activist/performer has had run-ins with the law in the past.
As any fan knows, his politics are rarely separate from his music. Just prior to the incident, Riley interviewed Mumia Abu-Jamal about social justice and the Supreme Court.
But as Boots, the son of a labor organizer, openly told MoJo, “I’m advocating that people change the world that is around them. And that means direct conflict.”
Here’s a good example of Boots’ dancier side:
And, his more political side, talking about intellectual property: