Former Student Boots Riley on 'Regular' Revolutionary Messages of His Radical Debut Film

Friday, July 06, 2018

CHICAGO READER -- Boots Riley had been waiting nearly three decades to make a movie. The Chicago-native turned Bay Area resident studied film as an undergrad at San Francisco State but didn’t immediately become the next Spike Lee. He earned a record deal in the early ’90s and focused instead on spreading his leftist messages through the medium of hip-hop. Riley released half a dozen raucous party rap/funk-rock albums with the group the Coup starting with 1993’s Kill My Landlord while managing to balance his art with political activism and community organizing — most famously as the public face of the Occupy movement in Oakland. But that doesn’t mean Riley ever gave up on his dream of becoming a filmmaker.