Boots Riley Writes a Touching Tribute to His The Coup Partner Pam the Funkstress
The Coup is one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time
On December 22nd, legendary Bay Area DJ Pam the Funkstress passed away due to organ failure. Since her death, some of the most notable people in the Bay Area have written touching things about her.
However, we still haven’t heard much from Boots Riley, Pam the Funkstress’ partner in The Coup. Until now.
On Friday morning Riley wrote a long, touching Facebook post dedicated to his friend of over 20 years. In the post Riley talks about seeing Pam perform live for the first time in the early ’90s, then doing everything in his power to work with her.
He tells a great story of going to a Tupac release party that Pam was DJing:
“I waited around for the right time to talk to her and after watching Tupac dance with Yo-Yo to his own song, I headed over to Pam. I said “I don’t know if you remember me- “She looked at my awkward, soaked outfit and said “I remember you.” But the look on her face said “I remember your wack ass show from last year.” I told her we were in need of a DJ and she told me that she was working right now. I was persistent and called her every day for a week until she came and met with me and E-Roc. I don’t really know what made her join us at that time, but she did and my life was changed forever.”
Probably the most tragic part of the post was wehn Riley wrote about their last interaction. It was over the summer and Riley was shooting a nude scene for his Sorry to Bother You movie. Pam tried to visit him on the set but the crew turned her away without telling Riley, something Pam took as a slight. She held a grudge.
He was never able to talk to her again:
“I only know this because she said as much to the folks that turned her away. I tried calling her with no response. Texted her, explaining, with no response. I felt terrible.
Once I found out she was in the hospital, her family wasn’t letting folks talk to her. I understand that totally. If you’re dying, you probably want to keep it to close family. Time is precious and needs to be spent with those you feel closest to. I made her a video message at a time when things looked hopeful and she needed to fight. I didn’t say stuff that sounded like I thought it was the end. I’m told she saw it and smiled.”
Read the entire post below. And if you want to support Pam’s family check out the GoFundMe they set up.