Former Student Boots Riley's Career of Confronting Capitalism Finally Hits Big Screen
WASHINGTON POST -- Riley, who was born in Chicago, lived in Detroit as a child but has spent most of his life in Oakland, previously worked in telemarketing while enrolled at San Francisco State University. During the early 1990s, he co-founded the Oakland-based hip-hop group the Coup, and they signed with the independent label Wild Pitch Records. The group’s second album, 1994’s Genocide and Juice, spawned the minor hit, Fat Cats, Bigga Fish. But when major label EMI bought out Wild Pitch, Riley says the label stopped pushing the song. The resulting disenchantment with the entertainment industry triggered Riley’s quarter-life crisis.