"Some of those that work forcesRage Against the Machine was a Rap Metal/Funk Metal band from Los Angeles, formed in 1991.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 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 was well known for their extremely left-wing politics (identifying most closely with anarcho-syndicalism) and the politically-charged lyrics in their songs, and the liner notes usually include contact information to various organizations the band supports. They have also played at large protests, and have several cases of controversial moments: when playing on Saturday Night Live (in an episode hosted by buttoned-down Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes), they displayed the American flag upside down, until stagehands came and pulled them down. Also, when playing "Killing in the Name" at the infamous Woodstock '99, they burned the American flag onstage.In 2016, they announced a new album to protest the presidential election of Donald Trump. Earlier during the election season, the band (again sans Zack) joined forces with Public Enemy's Chuck D and B-Real from Cypress Hill and performed together under the name Prophets of Rage. Unlike the case of Audioslave, however, Prophets of Rage did play RATM songs, as well as some Cypress Hill and Public Enemy songs, and also some original songs.
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that burn crosses
Are the same that hold office"
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that burn crosses
Are the same that hold office"
— "Killing in the Name", from their self-titled debutnote
- Zack de la Rocha - vocals
- Tom Morello - guitar
- Tim Commerford - bass
- Brad Wilk - drums
- Rage Against The Machine (1992)
- Evil Empire (1996)
- The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)
- Renegades (2000) [Covers album].
Troping in the Name:
- Abusive Parents: Zack de la Rocha, after his father's mental breakdown. The latter is referenced in "Born of a Broken Man", off of The Battle of Los Angeles.
- Alternative Metal
- Angrish: The language most songs are performed in.
- Audience Participation Song: Arguably "Killing in the Name".
- Author Tract: The liner notes. Zack de la Rocha's lyrics.
- Badass Beard: Zack de la Rocha.
- Bald of Awesome: Tom Morello.
- The Band Minus the Face: Audioslave. Kind of. Prophets of Rage also counts, with Chuck D and B-Real handling vocals in Zack's stead.
- Big Word Shout: "FREE-DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!"
- Big "YES!": Zack lets out an awesome, raspy "YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!" twice in "Sleep Now in the Fire"; once around the start, and again before the guitar solo. The outro of "Freedom" also has this alternating with Zack screaming the title, though the second time, he yells, "YEEAAHH, RIIIIGHT!"
- Broken Record: "Killing in the Name", as detailed below.
- Also "Know Your Enemy", which ends with eight instances of "All of which are American dreams!"
- Careful with That Axe: Even Zack takes it down a notch once in a while, but rest assured he'll be barking at you again very shortly.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Killing in the Name": Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me x 16 (first 4 murmuring, next 4 in a crescendo, and the last 8 shouting out loud).
- Conspiracy Theorist: The "machine" you should be raging against. They do specifically refer to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
- Cool Old Lady: Tom Morello's mother, Mary. She's basically the anti-Tipper Gore, starting an organization called "Parents for Rock and Rap". One of the band's live DVDs even features her introducing her son's band as "the best band in the fucking universe"!
- 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" (the latter of which is in Renegades, and for which, incidentally, Morello guested when Springsteen re-recorded it in High Hopes). 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.
- Darker and Edgier: The band's cover of Devo's "Beautiful World" takes a song that, although light-hearted musically, is quite dark lyrically, and makes its tone even darker, with a vastly-simplified and toned-down musical arrangement.
- Disappeared Dad: Morello's father left the family when Tom was only 16 months old and refused to have anything to do with them. Morello joked in a Guitar World interview that he was looking forward to the band's first African tour so he could visit Kenya "and be like 'What's up, dad? Here's a tape'."
- Funk Metal: Trope Codifier.
- 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. (The whole line is "Godzilla, pure motherfucking filler/Keep your eyes off the real killer.") 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 quite 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.
- Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President, claimed that Rage was one of his favorite bands. This also displeased Tom Morello.
- 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.
- The Klan: In addition to the famous reference in "Killing in the Name", there's a reference to a "white-hooded judge" in "Calm Like a Bomb".
- La Résistance: Many songs were dedicated to various leftist guerrilla groups in Latin America, most notably EZLN, aka. the Zapatistas, whose red-star-on-black-background logo can be found on the arm of Zack in the article image.
- Loudness War: Renegades is turned up so loud it audibly distorts through most of the record.
- Male Frontal Nudity: (In)famously at Lollapalooza to protest the PMRC.
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: An anti-corporate band signed to Epic Records. Tom Morello once justified this by likening it to Noam Chomsky selling his books through Barnes and Noble.
- 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
- Not the Intended Use: Tom Morello's claim to fame as a guitar player is in how he occasionally elicits very unexpected sounds from his electric guitars; most famously the turntable-like sounds on "Bulls on Parade", which he does by rubbing the strings with one hand and alternating turned-up and muted pickups with the other. The instrumental on "Testify" has him using the amplifier jack and hitting the guitar bridge with it. He once spoke in an interview of arriving at the Fender factory to take possession of a custom guitar he'd ordered and seeing another similar one being brought back; when informed that it had defective electronics that caused unwanted noises, he bought it as well.
- 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. It's directed by Michael Moore.
- Protest Song: The whole discography, to varying degrees of specificity.
- Rap Metal/Rap Rock/Punk Rap: Trope Codifier alongside Anthrax.
- Refrain from Assuming: It's "Bulls on Parade", not "Pocket Full of Shells".
- Sanity Slippage Song:
- Possibly "Settle for Nothing", judging by the lyrics.
- "Born of a Broken Man" is also based on Zack's father's Sanity Slippage.
- 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". "Wake Up" also has a spoken-word bridge, where Zack explains the FBI's COINTELPRO conspiracy. The words dissolve into nigh-incomprehensibility before the guitars suddenly turn up again and Zack starts screaming "WAKE UP!!!"
- Subdued Section: In a couple of songs.
- 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.
- Uncommon Time: One of the riffs from "Year of tha Boomerang" is in 5/4.