Santa Cruz Music Festival, The Coup, Sage Francis, Eliquate

The Coup is a political hip hop group based in Oakland, California. It formed as a three-member group in 1992 with rappers (Raymond) Boots Riley and E-Roc along with DJ Pam the Funkstress. E-Roc left on amicable terms after the group's second album, but appears on the track "Breathing Apparatus" on The Coup's third album, Steal This Album. The group is now a duo.

The Coup, part of the sub-genre of political hip hop, is politically radical and Marxist in their music, and align themselves with other radical hip-hop groups like dead prez. Their music is characterized by electronic sounds and bass-driven backbeats overlaid by humorous, cynical and sometimes violent lyrics criticizing capitalism, American politics, pimping as a form of patriarchal exploitation, and police brutality, among other things.

The Coup's debut album was 1993's Kill My Landlord. In 1994 they released their second album, Genocide and Juice. After a four-year recording hiatus, the group released the critically acclaimed Steal This Album in 1998, the title of which was reminiscent of lifestylist Abbie Hoffman's Steal this Book. The album featured the stand-out single "Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada Last Night". The online magazine Dusted called Steal This Album "the best hip-hop album of the 1990s".

Sage Francis

Sage Francis, dubbed the "forefather of indie-hop," has made a name for himself through his poetic leanings and scathing socio-political commentary in his lyrics. Francis has become one of the top selling independent artists in hip-hop and is the head of Strange Famous Records.


Packing an arsenal of rhymes that range from satirical social commentary and inner-soul searching to all-out, shake-your-ass-‘til-the floor-is-wet jams, Eliquate’s music has been charging parties up and down the West Coast since 2009. In that time span, they’ve graced the stage with underground royalty such as Murs, Del the Funky Homosapien, Zion-I and RJD2 just to name a few. But, who the f*ck is Eliquate anyway?
Unlike most MCs, Wright didn’t start writing until later in his life. His love for words pushed him to jot down more than just lyrics but meaningful messages for Wright’s peers to think about and connect with.

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