si_fuller (si_fuller) wrote,
si_fuller
si_fuller

Hottest 100 - Rage Against The Machine, Killing in the Name

Ranked #2 hottest song of all time. Released in 1992. Hey, this one's topical! If you haven't heard already, this song is currently (the week before Christmas 2009) #1 in the charts in the UK due to a mass protest against Simon Cowell and the corporate hit factory X-Factor. Someone said "Buy this song", and half a million people said "F*** yes, I'll do what you tell me". Paul O'Brien, an actual honest-to-goodness UK person, has written a good take on it, if you want to know more. But I will just say it was more than just some twits on the net doing this, there were some huge names involved, and a powerful movement behind it. The event broke various records. I hope to see more of this sort of thing.

Anyway, Rage Against the Machine was an early example of rap/metal fusion, and were a genuine social conscience. They get a lot of jeers because they belong to corporate giant Sony and people think they were just cynically making money from people's disaffection. But I give them the benefit of the doubt. Part of the problem is, I think, that lead singer Zack de la Rocha's voice sounds like he's an angry 15 year old. He's actually older than me, he was in his 20s when this song was released.

Killing in the Name is the perfect protest music, because it doesn't really deliver any specific messages, beyond oblique references to the Ku Klux Klan. Mostly the message is Rebel! Don't do what they tell you! And "they" can be pretty much anyone. But rest assured, they have other songs that are very specific about what issues they concern.

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