Born in Chicago and raised in East Oakland's Funktown neighborhood, Boots became a teenage community organizer, but later switched from a clipboard to the microphone, forming the Coup with rapper E-Roc. Pam the Funkstress, the first female DJ star in the famously competitive Bay Area turntablist scene, later signed on. As a producer and lyricist, Boots Riley has crafted critically acclaimed albums for The Coup that have graced the year-end Top 10 lists of Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and more. They have also received “Album of the Year” honors from The Washington Post, Time Out New York, while Billboard Magazine declared the group “the best hip-hop act of the past decade.” Born in Chicago and raised in East Oakland’s Funktown neighborhood, Boots became a teenage community organizer. From his history of student organizing in Oakland’s public schools, serving on the central committee for the Progressive Labor Party, being the President of Youth InCar (Youth International Committee Against Racism), organizing to build California’s Anti-Racist Farm Workers’ Union, to developing “guerrilla hip hop concerts” (mobile concerts on flatbed trucks), Boots Riley has been an integral part of the progressive struggle for radical change through culture.