Rage Against the Machine

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    Some of those that work forces
    Are the same that burn crosses
    Some of those that burn crosses
    Are the same that hold office


    Rage Against The Machine is a staunchly left-wing Rap Rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1991. Despite the band's anti-corporate viewpoint, they are signed to Epic Records, a major label owned by Sony. According to the band, it was a way to get the message out to a larger audience. Of course, considering the band's wide variety of appearances in corporate media, like the MTV Awards, and collaborations with Glam Rappers, it doesn't really help their case very much.

    The band was on hiatus from 2000 to 2007, during which time the band members sans singer Zack De La Rocha formed the band Audioslave with the Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell. Audioslave disbanded in 2007, and RATM reunited for a show in Coachella festival, and have since toured to some extent.

    The band is well known for the political activism, and the liner notes usually include contact information to various organizations the band supports. They have also played at large protests, and once, when playing on Saturday Night Live (in an episode hosted by buttoned-down Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes), displayed the American Flag upside down, until stagehands came and pulled them down.

    Band members:

    • Zack De La Rocha - vocals
    • Tom Morello - guitar
    • Tim Commerford - bass
    • Brad Wilk - drums

    Rage Against The Machine has released four albums:

    • Rage Against The Machine (1992)
    • Evil Empire (1996)
    • The Battle Of Los Angeles (1999)
    • Renegades (2000) a collection of cover versions of other bands' songs.

    Rage Against the Machine provides examples of the following tropes:


    Fuck you I won't do what you tell me x 16 (first 4x murmuring, next 4x in a crescendo, and the last 8x shouting out loud)

    • Cover Version - An entire album of them. Renegades is a collection of covers. They have also covered "Fuck tha Police", "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad". At live shows they sometimes play White Riot by The Clash.
    • Cursed with Awesome -- One of the reasons that their music is so good is because of how seriously they take it, and how seriously they took their music was one of the things that caused their breakup.
    • Hot-Blooded -- They are a very, very passionate band.
    • Isn't It Ironic? -- "No Shelter" was used on the Godzilla soundtrack because Sony noticed that they mention the great lizard by name. What Sony failed to notice is that they call it "pure motherfucking filler" and that the whole song was about slick American advertising disguising real suffering. Furthermore, "No Shelter" has the line "Make you think what you need is what they sellin'/Make you think that buyin' is rebellin'"
      • Also, in the 2009 U.K Xmas No.1 race, when Rage's "Killing In The Name" went up against The X Factor's Joe's, "The Climb", there was qute a bit of Irony as there was a successful internet campaign instructing anti-X Factor fans to buy the song. In addition to the above anti-consumerism lyric from "No Shelter", "Killing In The Name" clearly has the lyrics, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!"
      • In addition, Rush Limbaugh played "Sleep Now in the Fire" on his radio show once. Tom Morello was not pleased.
    • Ivy League for Everyone -- Tom Morello is a Harvard graduate with a Political Science degree.
    • I Was Young and Needed the Money -- Tom Morello once supported himself by dancing. Exotically.
    • La Résistance -- many songs were dedicated to various leftist guerilla groups in Latin America, most motably EZNL aka. the Zapatistas, whose red-star-on-black-background logo can be found on the arm of Zach in the article image.
    • Male Frontal Nudity -- (In)Famously at Lollapalooza to protest the PMRC, you can see them here.
    • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: An anti-corporate band signed to Epic Records.

    When you live in a capitalistic society, the currency of the dissemination of information goes through capitalistic channels. Would Noam Chomsky object to his works being sold at Barnes & Noble? No, because that's where people buy their books. We're not interested in preaching to just the converted. It's great to play abandoned squats run by anarchists, but it's also great to be able to reach people with a revolutionary message, people from Granada Hills to Stuttgart.

    • Metal Scream -- When Zack de la Rocha isn't rapping. Generally happens towards the end of songs, when a single line is repeated over and over again. Examples, aside from "Killing in the Name", include "Wake Up", "Freedom", "Down Rodeo" and "Bullet in the Head".
    • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness -- 6-7
    • One of Us - Tom Morello is a fan of Star Trek and even made a cameo appearance in an episode of Voyager. And again in Iron Man when he raged against Stark's Mark 1 suit. He's also an avid Dungeons and Dragons player.
    • Political Rap - Zack De La Rocha's rapping.
    • Performance Video -- Several include snippets, but "Sleep Now In The Fire" deserves an honorary mention, with the band playing on the steps of Federal Hall. Without a permit.
    • Protest Song -- The whole discography, to varying degrees of specificity.
    • Rap Rock / Punk Rap
    • Sanity Slippage Song -- Possibly "Settle for Nothing", judging by the lyrics.
    • Shout-Out -- Several, perhaps most obviously to George Orwell. "Testify", for example, lifts the famous quote "Who controls the past now controls the future; who controls the present now controls the past" from Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    • Spelling Song -- "Know Your Enemy", "Mic Check". Also arguably "Microphone Fiend", however this is a cover song so it doesn't truly count.
    • Spoken Word in Music -- "Settle for Nothing", "Born of a Broken Man".
    • Subdued Section - In a couple of songs.
    • Take That - Infectious Grooves did a good one towards RATM, called "Do What I Tell Ya".
    • Title-Only Chorus - "Know Your Enemy". Although most of the chorus is taken up by Morello's admittedly awesome riff, the actual vocal bits just consist of the one line from de la Rocha, which is of course...
    • Titled After the Song - "Rage Against the Machine" was the name of a song (and EP) by Zack de la Rocha's previous band, the punk outfit Inside Out.
    • Trope Namer - Rage Against The X is a popular trope name on this wiki.