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Music Impact: Rage Against The Machine

March 19, 2010

I remember the first time I heard these guys, better yet, the first time I saw the album cover for their first release (seen on the right). It is the image of this self immolated monk, and the power of the disc that made a big fan– that image encompassed everything the band was about. Like Thích Quảng Đức, RATM stood tall in the face of injustice and war.

The lyrics were always powerful, yet greatly misunderstood. The sheer ferocity in which the lead vocalist Zach De La Rocha attacked the mic could incite a riot at any moment, and maybe that’s what he wanted, but I am sure his anger was not understood most of the time. Actually, I’m sure it was.

I first saw them at the third version of Lollapalooza. Zach had a book he was reading from, getting the crowd really riled up. There was just a way that he could get people wrapped up so easily. I am no dancer, never claim to be, but they had me moving. (ok ok, I was just jumping up and down, I have no rhythm alright?)

At the most recent Republican National Convention the band had wanted to perform in protest of government policies they believed were 100% behind the reason’s we went to war. The police were scared, told them they could not perform. BUT they did anyway. With a bullhorn and a crowd backing them up acapella, RATM well full force into a rally cry of “Killing In The Name”. (see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THIdBfYnFBY)

Not only is Zach one of the best orators of our time, but the musical talent and prowess of Tom Morello and the rest of RATM is beyond compare. Fusing hardcore with bits of metal and bits of freestyle rapping they created a sound that others have tried to do but have not come close. These guys were geniuses way ahead of their time, and are sadly missed by myself and millions of fans.

I was inspired to write this article, as well as one to follow, while listening to a song of theirs titled “Freedom.” It brought back tons of memories and for the first time, I felt shivers running down my spine. I think I finally got what these guys were doing or trying to do, making us aware of what they were passionate about. Not that I wasn’t but I felt it, for real this time.

I linked to a video above but am posting this one below, from 1996’s Tibetan Freedom Festival in which RATM performs my favorite song “Bulls On Parade”. The song is an anthem against war and corruption, the lyrics are below the video. Enjoy…

“Bulls On Parade” by Rage Against The Machine
Come wit it now!
Come wit it now!
The microphone explodes, shattering the molds
Either drop tha hits like de la O or get tha fuck off tha commode
Wit tha sure shot, sure ta make tha bodies drop
Drop an don’t copy yo, don’t call this a co-op
Terror rains drenchin’, quenchin’ tha thirst of tha power dons
That five sided fist-a-gon
Tha rotten sore on tha face of mother earth gets bigger
Tha triggers cold empty ya purse

Rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells

Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
Line up to tha mind cemetary now
What we don’t know keeps tha contracts alive an movin’
They don’t gotta burn tha books they just remove ’em
While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells
Rally round tha family, pockets full of shells

Rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells

Bulls on parade

Come wit it now!
Come wit it now!
Bulls on parade!
Bulls on parade!
Bulls on parade!
Bulls on parade!
Bulls on parade!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 11:00 am

    Great post! I’ve been a huge fan of rage since around 96′.. I’ve seen them live a bunch of times and they are amazing…. They played a show with Wu Tang in Mass a while back that was incredible!

    That album cover still gives me goosebumps. I had a huge blown up version of that poster in my teenage room a long time ago…

    Good Stuff man

    Shindo

  2. March 20, 2010 1:39 am

    I love RATM. Had tickets to go see them and the boys the boys The Beastie Boys, and then Mike D got drunk, broke his collarbone, the tour got postponed, and then Rage broke up.

    “I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
    Line up to tha mind cemetary now
    What we don’t know keeps tha contracts alive an movin’
    They don’t gotta burn tha books they just remove ‘em”

    damn. so true. so true.

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