Former Student Boots Riley's Parents Met During SF State Strike in 1960s
ROLLING STONE -- He was born in Chicago, but his parents, who met during a student-led strike at San Francisco State University, returned to the Bay Area when he was 6.
By high school, he was helping organize farmworkers in California’s Central Valley. As an undergrad at San Francisco State, he studied film, hoping to be the next Spike Lee; instead, the music he wrote for his Super 8 shorts ended up becoming demos for the Coup. Released as an EP in 1991, these songs caught the attention of the hip-hop label Wild Pitch, and soon Riley’s dreams of filmmaking had been sidetracked by a record deal.