With Boots Riley‘s visit to Auckland last week, we again discovered no matter how much you’ve heard of someone second-hand, it can all become completely irrelevant once you meet them in person.
Despite having a quarter million views on his latest video (featured below) Boots arrived with zero airs and graces, blending in within minutes, as if we’d always known him.
Yet what else could we expect, from the man who rapped:
“They’ve got the TV –
we’ve got the truth.
They own the judges –
We’ve got the proof!”
The gig was hosted by the Mana Movement for the People, in Mangere, and it was The People who turned out for him on the night.
We spent the afternoon with Boots, interviewing him at his press conference and spending time with him before and after the show.
(Our video interview playlist is below: transcripts to follow)
There were plenty of familiar faces on the night, having a welcome respite from the daily grind of putting their lives on the line to fight for human rights and social justice.
The highlight of the set was definitely this acoustic version of ‘The Guillotine’ – apparently the first time this song has been performed live with just voice, guitar and bongos.
Our earliest memories of Boots related to his participation in the famous West Coast Port Shutdowns of November and December, 2011, where hundreds of thousands of striking members of the public shut down the Ports of Oakland and other ports across the West Coast of the USA.
Shout out to the awesome @nishneb for sending us this nostalgia clip of Boots speaking at the December 12 Port Shutdown II, an event we witnessed live thanks to Occupy Oakland livestreamers.
(Click here for our archive of articles about Occupy Oakland)
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