In this comical funky dance tune, The Coup imagines several ways in which a CEO might kill himself. All of the ideas in the song prey upon a CEO’s weaknesses, taking advantage of how easy it is to bait a CEO into committing sinful or sleazy behavior.
The chorus for the lyrics by The Coup, or Boots Riley, are the following:
We got 5 million ways to kill a CEO
Slap him up and shake him and then you know
Let him off the flo’ then bait him with the dough
You can do it funk or do it disco
A couple of specific examples of ways to kill a CEO include telling a CEO boogers “be sellin’ like crack.” He will “put them little baggies in his nose and suffocate like that.” Or, a person can “put a fifty in a barrel of a gun,” and when he tries to suck it out, well, just imagine what happens.
In Riley’s book, “Tell Homeland Security We Are The Bomb,” he writes, “Most of my lyrics are pretty tongue in cheek. I would probably not make a song about literally killing a CEO. Not because I have a problem with it per se, but because that wouldn’t be a fun song. The things that I think motivate people into action are not doom and gloom, and not anger and rage. The things that I think actually motivate people into action are optimism and hope.”
With that in mind, “5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO” is actually an anthem for the people to come up with ways to bait CEOs, those in the top one percent, into committing acts, which contribute to their own demise so it is easier for the 99 percent to rise up and take control of everything.
Riley says he clearly does not like the system of capitalism. He would rather live under a system where the people democratically controlled profits created. That system would probably more closely resemble socialism, communism, or whatever anyone would like to call it.
More importantly, as Riley emphasizes, the CEOs in his song are easy to kill because their greed is so intense. If the people being exploited use the greed of CEOs to their advantage, any revolution will be more possible.
That is the message of “5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO.” Through some fantastic humor, Riley asks everyone to recognize they should have hope because those who run the world, left to their own devices, will bring about their own demise.
Why not speed their collapse by preying on their immorality? And dance during this revolution too.
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