Boots Riley Speaks On Street Sweeper Social Club, Rock the Bells

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Boots Riley Speaks On Street Sweeper Social Club, Rock the Bells

Exclusive: The Coup frontman says how "Paid in Full" influenced him, and why he's covering LL Cool J & M.I.A. hits with Tom Morello.

The Coup's Boots Riley and Tom Morello have become a force to be reckoned with in Rap and Rock. The genre bending musicians have teamed up to form Street Sweeper Social Club, a group that is readying a new EP for fans. Aside from their latest release, The Ghetto Blaster EP, Street Sweeper is also gearing up to join a stellar roster at this year’s Rock the Bells. Recently, HipHopDX caught up with Boots to speak about the new EP and the Rock the Bells line-up.

As we reported, this year’s RTB will feature entire albums performed by Slick Rick, The Wu Tang Clan, KRS-One and Rakim. For Boots, Paid in Full has played a special role in shaping him, something he reminisced about with us on the eve that the line up was officially revealed.

Paid in Full, we used to bump that shit in high school. We used to ride up and down Foothill Blvd. in Oakland and up and down E. 14th in Oakland and up and down Telegraph from Oakland to Berkley. So, it holds a place for me that makes it hard to look at it objectively. Everybody thinks the music that came out when they were in high school was the best music. I feel bad for the people who came out of high school when Nsync was at the top. Point is, that’s what came out when I was in high school.”

Quickly, the conversation turned to The Ghetto Blaster EP, a release that will reportedly feature covers of “Mama Said Knock You Out” and “Paper Planes.”

“We got a new EP that’s going to come out called The Ghetto Blaster EP. [You can expect] hard, hard, hard music and some raw as lyrics on top.”

While Tom and Boots have already released a project as The Street Sweeper Social Club, Boots made it clear to any of the uninitiated that the Rock/Rap combination is a good fit.

“I’ve been knowing Tom for awhile. I always make my music based on bass lines and he makes riffs which is pretty much just like bass lines so it’s pretty easy to collaborate. I’ve always had songs like "Gun Smoke" and "We Are the Ones" with hard guitars on it and Hip Hop has always had that since Run DMC and before so it’s an easy combination.”

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