Rap shifted out of the gangsta and East Coast/West Coast stuff in about 2000 and into a more rounded world where different styles had a shot at the mainstream. Outkast, Eminem, and Missy Elliott, for example, all enjoyed critical and commercial peaks. Slightly controversial subject matter could even have a place on commercial radio, what with D12’s “Purple Pills,” a song about purple pills. Factoring in rap-rock, Rage Against the Machine had long established itself as a well-liked, middle-of-the-road act, despite its vitriolic agit-prop leanings that called for leftist causes and revolutions in places most of its teenage listeners had never heard of. Basically, if there was ever a time for the Coup, an openly, bluntly, and coldly Marxist rap duo (but with a sound decidedly more funky and bubble-pop-electric than anything Leon Trotsky ever put out, either with his band or solo) to have a hit, it was in 2001.
Planned for release in September 2001, the original cover of their fourth album Party Music expressed its feelings about government and business quite succinctly:
Uh, then this happened:
Party Music was delayed for a few months (and given a new cover, obviously). The album and the band got a lot of press for the eerie 9/11 connection, but in the wake of the tragedy, the old maxim that all publicity is good publicity did not hold for the Coup. Despite the recent musical climate, the Coup looked a bit unpalatable and excellent tracks like “Everythang” and “Pork and Beef” didn’t get much play.
Although “Pork and Beef” did show up in that notorious call to revolution, the 2007 Marxist indoctrination film Superbad.