THE COUP and MR. LIF at the Mod Club Theatre (722 College), Tuesday (December 12). 416-599-1550. Rating: NNNNN
It's safe to say the Coup and Mr. Lif will not continue their tour due to a tour bus accident. At the time of writing, Emerge, the promoter of their Toronto show, has put the chance of cancellation at 70 percent.
According to a statement sent by the Coup's management team to their label, Epitaph, on December 2 their bus "flipped near El Centro, CA (approx two hours east of San Diego) and caught fire" at around 6 am.
The crash has left the hiphop artists' camps in varying conditions. Management began its message with the assurance that "first, everyone is all right," but a few people may be quite seriously injured.
Mr. Lif sustained bruises and is on crutches, and his DJ, Wiz, suffered a "deep laceration to the head and a broken leg but is doing well." Wiz and the bus driver, Glenn, had to be airlifted to hospitals in Palm Springs and San Diego for specialized treatment.
While Boots Riley, the Coup's MC, came out of the accident unscathed, his backing MC, Silk-E, suffered broken ribs and spent two days in the hospital. The tour's merch manager, Zhana, was also taken by ambulance to a San Diego facility with a severe hand laceration.
A few days after this information was released, El-P, the founder of Lif's label, Definitive Jux, provided more details to www.Pitchforkmedia.com: "The bus and everything in the bus was destroyed in the fire," he said, listing who had been hurt and confirming that "for obvious reasons, the tour will most likely not continue."
Boston rhymer Mr. Lif is one of the most profound MCs in underground rap, with three ground-bustingly twisted albums out on Def Jux. His latest banger, Mo' Mega (2006), is a heavy concept record about hypermodernity in the 'hood.
The politically minded MC is also 33 and a third per cent of the Perceptionists, alongside Akrobatik and DJ Fakts One. In 05, they dropped Black Dialogue, putting a more melodious and comic spin on Lif's aggressively conscious styles.
Oakland's the Coup are well suited to tour with Mr. Lif, since Boots Riley is equally brazen in his anti-authoritarianism. The MC and DJ Pam the Funkstress have been rocking politically since their 93 debut, Kill My Landlord. They came to national attention in 2001 for the untimely coincidence of their Party Music LP's original cover art depicting the duo blowing up the World Trade Center.
On their latest, Pick A Bigger Weapon, Boots breaks down the intimate relationship between Bush and Saddam Hussein, sociologically justifies drug dealing and upholds a cynical view of history and U.S. democracy over crisp live instrumentation and the plucking of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
Considering how extreme the accident was, it's very fortunate that all survived. This would have been an insanely dope show. Let's hope they reschedule it after everyone recovers.