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.

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Although “Pork and Beef” did show up in that notorious call to revolution, the 2007 Marxist indoctrination film Superbad.


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