Like their forebears in Public Enemy, the members of The Coup have always treated hip-hop and grassroots political activism as interchangeable. Both groups have taken advantage of hip-hop's unique ability to reach listeners on a visceral level, but the two differ wildly in their approach. Where Chuck D's booming voice and The Bomb Squad's overpowering sonic fury constitute a full-frontal assault on listeners' sensibilities, The Coup favors a more subtle approach, rooted in a sophisticated sense of irony rare in any form of popular music, but nearly unheard of in hip-hop. That gift has never been more apparent than in the masterful three-song suite that opens Genocide & Juice, a newly reissued 1994 album that spent years out of print due to a disastrous distribution deal. After the obligatory intro, the album opens with "Fat Cats, Bigga Fish," an assured comic narrative that finds frontman Boots Riley running a series of small-time scams, until he stumbles into a party attended by rich capitalists and discovers who's really being hustled. "Pimps (Freestyling At The Fortune 500)" continues the narrative, with a freestyling session among party-going members of the ruling class serving as a witty parody of both corporate greed and hip-hop braggadocio. "Takin' These" completes the tale, with MCs Riley and E-Roc bursting into the soirée and engaging in some impromptu redistribution of wealth. The rest of the album nearly matches the brilliance of its opening sequence, with "Santa Rita Weekend," "Repo Man," and "Interrogation" offering vivid, evocative, and often extremely funny snapshots of urban life as one long bad joke, with revolution as the only way out. JCOR's re-release of Genocide & Juice, part of a series of reissues of the Wild Pitch catalog, doesn't offer any extras, but fans of smart, socially conscious hip-hop would still be wise to pick it up. As it is, it's one of the most overlooked masterpieces in hip-hop history.