This morning I finally got around to checking out the new Coup album, Pick a Bigger Weapon. I might review it on my own site later this afternoon or this evening. I may have to check with my go-to guy on this, but it could be in the running for best Bay Area rap album ever.

There aren't any other good Bay Area rap albums, are there?

As I recall, Party Music made Rolling Stone's year-end last back in 2001, primarily by virtue of its cover featuring an image of the World Trade Center exploding. But the album itself kinda sucked balls. There's a reason you hardly ever heard anything about it other than the cover flap. Steal This Album is supposed to be good, but I wouldn't know.

I'd put Pick a Bigger Weapon at a solid 8 - bumped up to a 9 if you're really into shit like Cameo or hip-hop played live musicians. (Generally, I could do without both.) Also, I'm not typically into a lot of silly, rad chic bullshit in my music, but Boots Riley seems more intelligent than your average M.I.A. and tends to bring up some interesting points.

Also, he claims to be an actual communist. Whatever that means.

Which brings me to my point: Should shoes be considered a universal human right? As far as I know, that isn't listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but I wasn't about to go through that whole long thing looking for any mention of footwear, even with Firefox's handy "Find in This Page" (Ctrl+F) funtion.

A man could easily go his entire life without wearing shoes, but then he'd be that much more likely to step on something. In fact, I'm sure this happens all the time in parts of Africa or, um, Asia. In the US, where there tends to be a lot of shit on the ground - especilally in our poorer neighborhoods - I'd say you pretty much need to own a pair.

That said, it never really occurred to me that there were people in the US so poor that they couldn't afford to buy a pair of shoes. In the song "I Love Boosters!" Boots Riley raps about walking around as a kid in a dilapidated pair of sneakers - presumably because his mother couldn't afford to buy him a new pair. I don't know if she was on drugs or what.

It's a wonder nothing bad ever happened to his feet.

If it's true that jigs in the ghetto have got it so bad that they have to choose between buying shoes from a booster or going barefoot, then I'll go ahead and advocate buying shoes from a booster. I'm compassionate like that. But I wonder how often this is the case. In fact, I bet the main reason people cop shit from boosters is to rock a certain name brand.

If this is the case, then I'm going to have to advocate against stealing. Not only is it wrong because it's wrong, but it also reflects poorly on the black community, and drives up prices for those of us whose mothers can afford to pay for our shoes. Why should my mom have to pay an extra $5 to subsidize some ghetto trash with a Nike fetish?

Not to mention the people who actually work in these stores, i.e. myself. If it weren't for these assholes running out the front door with carts full of shit (I've seen it happen), the BGM could, in theory, afford to pay me that much more. Am I less black because I work for a store rather than steal from one? What about my problems, god damnit!