Boots Riley is a poet, political organizer, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter and filmmaker.
Provocative and prolific, he’s best known as the lead vocalist of political hip hop group The Coup.
A fearless advocate for the power of the working class to reorganize the production of profit and provide leverage to social justice movements, Boots gives lectures and keynotes focusing on strategic negotiation tools.
As a storyteller and lyricist, he ties personal experience (love, sex, broken-down cars, etc.) to a radical class analysis.
Boots is a Sundance filmmaker and a Sundance fellow.
Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s Quarterly) called Boots’ screenplay Sorry to Bother You “one of the best unproduced screenplays [he’s] ever read.”
Sorry to Bother You, a surreal dark comedy combining magical realism and science fiction, inspired by Boots’ time as a telemarketer, is being developed into a feature film featuring Patton Oswalt and David Cross. (Score by TuneYards and sound by The Coup.)
His singular, optimistic commentary, stories and lyrics combining radical politics, hip-hop poetics, and wry humor with Bay Area swag are compiled in Tell Homeland Security-We Are the Bomb (Haymarket Books).
Boots Riley is the only known musical artist whose surveillance by intelligence agents has been exposed due to Wikileaks documents.