Above is a speech that Rage Against The Machine lead singer/lyricist Zach De La Rocha spit last Saturday at the Rock The Bells concert in San Francisco. I thought the show was dope and that Rage brought good energy. I started listening to Rage after they had already broken up, so it was dope to see them reunited again on stage with Zach spittin his usual leftist politics and saying shit like “Its gonna take a lot of sacrifice, a lot of jail time, maybe even a little death but our children aren’t gonna grow up under these rich white crackers that don’t know shit about the world we know, the direction this world could go in that doesn’t amount to them anymore. Wake up!” I always had to respect Rage for being a real high profile band with mass appeal and a respectable political message. What was even more funny to me is how Zach always called out the “white crackers” in front of sold out crowds of, um, white crackers. Haha, silly ass America. They did it by first and foremost, making dope music (Tom Morello is a beast on the guitar and does the most wild shit on that thing that I’ve ever seen or heard). They tapped into that raw energy of the early punk, hardcore and hip hop movements where folks needed an outlet to voice their frustration with the fucked up state of the world or just jump around and lose themselves in the beat.
I’m reminded of the speech that De La Rocha gave in 2000 at Rage’s last show before they broke up, where he said:
“So who went out and joined us for the Democratic National Convention? I’ve never seen so many fucking cops in my life. It’s like everybody knows that everybody went out there, the only thing we were out there to do is express how much we hate both the Democrats and Republicans because they sold this fucking country out. And by expressing our rights to resist, what do they do, they open fire on the crowd. I don’t care what fucking television station said the violence was caused by the people at the concert, those motherfuckers unloaded on this crowd. And I think it’s ridiculous considering, you know, none of us had rubber bullets, none of us had M16s, none of us had billy clubs, none of us had face shields. All we had was our fists, our voices, our microphones, our guitars, our drums, and anytime we get beaten in the streets for protesting, we take it to the court system, and the court system don’t wanna hear it. Look what happened to Amadou Diallo in New York, they shot that brother 41 times and let all four officers go. It’s time for a new type of action in this country.”
Funny how things don’t seem much different now, huh?