I hate boosters!

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!

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  • http://www.myspace.com Rey

    I always had really lousy sneakers & wack clothes that I kept getting made fun of for. Then I decided I needed to “fit in”, so I bought baggy jeans and nikes.

    The sucky part is that now I’m still hooked on nikes (not that they fit my “fat hobbit feet” *nullus* anyway, but the mental scarring runs deep), but my jeans tend to get caught under my sneakers when I walk so you can’t see what kind of shoes they are anyway.

    Curse you, Hip-Hop, for making me a slave to your stupid fashion rules. Just thought I’d share.

    *we now return you to your regularly scheduled poor spelling & grammar-filled responses*

  • Jackson D

    To the last commenter

    Nikes and jeans are bad enough addictions…. but White Ts gotta be the WORST part of a hip-hop fashion I’ve taken an obsession on

    Galaxy white Ts… cheap, but u gotta go through 100s of them in a summer… stains, sweat, and whatever else can happen to a bright white shirt during daily life… its rough

  • Katari

    Dear Rey,

    Im sorry you blame hip hop for your poor taste in fashion. Me, I’m a rap fan, I live in Atlanta, and believe it or not I do not own one pair of Nikes, and I can’t stand baggy pants. In fact I make all my thugged out, Air Force One, pants down to their ankles, too big shirt wearing friends change before their allowed to ride in my car.

  • DJ Lucky Luke

    I’ve never heard a Coup song in my life. When I was a kid, I got one pair of sneakers until the seams busted, and then my parents would buy me another pair–never spending more than $40 dollars for shoes at a time. Nowadays, I’ve got about 12 pairs and I justify them by designating each pair with a specific task–the Timbo loafers are for a casual Friday at work, the timbo boat shoes are for the Republican look, the Adidas running shoes are for looking like I’m athletic, and so-on and so-on. I blame my childhood–Rocking tennis shoes to church always sucked and having to drip fry grease on my new boots when I was 16 sucked as well. Now I’ve got shoes for every occasion. There, that’s my one metrosexual tendency…sorry, mom.

  • Sarutama

    The idea that a company that pays children in china like 2 dollars a day to make sneakers would even consider the thought of paying you more if less people stole their product is laughable at best.

    They pay you what they pay you because you are willing (Read “foreced so you can eat and pay bills”) to work for that amount. If they could get away with paying you less then minimum wage they certainly would.

  • Sarutama

    I will add that I buy my shoes Adidas shell toes from the store (I’ve always worn them, they are comfortable, relatively in expensive, and last me a decent amount of time.), but only because nobody “boosts” shell toes.

  • Sarutama

    One more thing, what reflects worse on the black community? People buying shoes from shoplifters or having a bunch of savage lookin, bare foot niggers running around? You can’t even get into a 7-11 without shoes.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    BOL — no shirt, no SHOES, no service.

    Without shoes, niggas might not know the virtues of the McRib or those Wendy’s salads.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >The idea that a company that pays children in china like 2 dollars a day to make sneakers would even consider the thought of paying you more if less people stole their product is laughable at best.

    I don’t work for Nike though. I work for the BGM.

    >Without shoes, niggas might not know the virtues of the McRib or those Wendy’s salads.

    True dat. Nothing like a fried chicken salad.

  • MosBang


    This problem arises evrywhere with shoes, cd’s, healthcare, insurance, etc.

    So basically poor stupid irresponsible black people are the problem and need to stop this shit, because rich acountable smart black people are tired of carrying you NIGGERS!!!!!!!!

  • Sarutama

    WEll, I don’t know who BGM is, I Assume it’s the parent company of “Foot Locker” or some such.

    I still maintain that if there was never another theft from any “BGM” owned establishment, your salary would not increase one penny.

    A little food for thought, in 2003 the average CEO made 301 times what the average worker made. THREE HUNDRED AND ONE TIMES!

    Now to be fair, that is down from 2000, when the average CEO made 525 times the average workers salary. Although the decrease is likely due more to scandals like enron and what not and the removal of those bringing up the average then two any significant increase in workers salary.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >I still maintain that if there was never another theft from any “BGM” owned establishment, your salary would not increase one penny.

    I know. That’s why I said in theory.

    Actually, if the store manages to decrease “shrink” from one period to the next, I think we get a free pizza party.

    I’ll take free pizza over nothing.

  • Sarutama

    All this being said, you should definitely check out “Steal this album” Way less live instrumentation (so you should like that) and just a better album over all.

  • http://www.myspace.com Rey

    Jackson D–There are more skeletons in my Hip Hop Fashion Closet (nullus1).. Back in ’94 I insisted on rocking black jeans, a black tee with white nikes and a white hat to look like Dr Dre, then that summer I took to wearing grey’n'black plaids to look like Snoop..

    Katari–The baggy jeans are a necessity when you’re a fat kid like me. I refuse to do the emo/skater caucasian thing and rock tight jeans. As for the long t-shirt thing, lemme just say that I’ve never had the desire to look like Ebenezer Scrooge in a fucking nightgown.

    My little brother’s been wearing the same clothes since 1996 and he’s pulled more chicks than Mr. Purdue. (ok, that was bad…)

    Congrats, Bol.. Your blog has now become a Fashion Victim support group. (nullus2)

  • Bklyn’sOwn

    I support boosters 100 percent. Why should I pay 80 bucks for sneakers while the same company pays children pennies to make them. I rather give my money to my man on the corner tryna eat and get my uptowns for half price. And that goes for kicks, jeans, tees, movies, newports, cologne…whateva. Of course for those you that had mommy and daddy to buy yours sneakers everytime you wanted, you wouldn’t understand the value of boosters. And i don’t think it brings down the community, shit, you think white people buy stuff at full price? They go to thrift shops, garage sells, and canal street (bootlegg central in nyc) just like us.

  • The ON1E

    Bol robbed me once…

  • http://www.myspace.com Rey

    Hmm.. I also bought alot of fake stuff.

    I had a fake Karl Kani shirt I bought in the Hudson Mall in Jersey City.

    …years later I learned that the Hudson Mall was the *looks around* black people mall!

    I wish there was a Booster where I grew up.. At least that shit was real.

  • This is getting boring!


  • Franky

    Hold on… the guy behind these arrogant blogs works in a retail store?

  • Babyboy

    Katari- Da reason u never had nikes is cuz u broke, dont come wit, i dont like it and etc, cuz, everybody was rockin, nikes air force 1s, i bet u was rockin chancletas, wit sock on lol, and as far as dressin , we all have different but iqual styles, da only thing i dont like 2 see in or community is , gold in your mouths, big azz reems, and chains man, shit a saw a nigga, caring a jeus peace so big, da i think it was even bigger dan jesus man, wat da fuck is wit dat?? i bet hes kid was starvin in da streetz, lees materialism and more luv is all about love my people

  • Sarutama

    ^Bol, the spelling in the comment above is what reflects poorly on the black community.

  • Nelson Abbey

    Bol, although i may not agree with alot of the stuff you say i must tell you this. I look forward to reading your blogs. Helps me get through my day at work.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    I never owned an air force 1. I did have Jordans though, the ones with the wholes in the tongue so I could pull them up using 2 fingers.

  • Sarutama


  • http://www.bomanijones.com Bomani

    Yeah, I buy from boosters to rock a brand name–Dead Presidents. I’ve had enough shit stolen from me that I have no qualms about buying stolen goods. All about that low low, shawty.

  • RandomName

    “Franky Says:

    Hold on… the guy behind these arrogant blogs works in a retail store? ”

    How much do you think being a writer pays ? And you damn sure don’t get any health insurance unless you work for a mojor publication. I like to call myself a writer too, but it damn sure doesn’t pay any of my bills, not yet anyway.

  • Kornphlake

    After reading through your previous posts, I would have to say don’t quit your dayjob Bolsack!

  • Ogeezy

    This funny looking dude is the worst blogger ever. Go back to Kansas.

  • hahaha

    i dunno how people can take boots riley seriously. he claims to be an activist but then he makes bullshucks like laugh love fuck and haveababytilbushdosomethingcrazy. i dont mind activist rappers doing less activist type rap but if youre gonna try and be lighthearted at least have a good sense of humour. which he doesnt. not on this album anyway.

  • DCMadeMan

    And the bad thing is, you people are really responding to this gay ass blog. Get a job or girl, whichever comes first. And once again bol you’re a bitch

  • http://nahright.com eskay

    you midwesterners are so conservative. not only does Bol not appreciate graf, he doesn’t like boosting either, the two activities I excelled at in high school.

  • http://nationofthizzlam.blogspot.com mr. pilly wonk

    there aren’t any good Bay Area rap albums?

    such a fucking hater, Bol, but I guess that’s why I read this.

    E-40 – In A Major Way
    E-40 – Federal
    E-40 – Grit & Grind
    IMP – Back in the Days
    Mac Dre – Stupid Doo Doo Dumb
    Dre Dog – I Hate You With a Passion
    Too Short – Born To Mack
    Too Short – Life Is Too Short
    Cellski – Mr. Predicter
    Messy Marv – Bandanas Tatoos, and Tongue Rings (no homo)

    fuck it, the list goes on.