Meet Hollywood’s New Disruptor In Chief: Former SF State Student Boots Riley

Monday, February 25, 2019

UNCOVA -- By the time he was 15, Riley had joined the Progressive Labor Party. Hip Hop and film became his passions, and in 1989 he enrolled at San Francisco State to study film.

“I did shorts, but they were style exercises, very abstract, figuring it out,” he recalled. “And I was making music to go in the films.” Outside class, he joined anti-racist protests. “White supremacists said they were going to take back the Bay Area,” he told The New York Times. “They had the ‘Aryan Woodstock’ in Napa, and they’d have rallies in Union Square, with cops surrounding these Nazis.”