Millennial discovers Rage Against the Machine
June 8, 2018 4:30 AM   Subscribe

What happens when a millennial hears Rage Against the Machine for the first time. I am such a sucker for reaction videos, especially when kids or millennials discover something that I love. But this takes the cake; a millennial hip hop fan listens to the very first Rage Against the Machine Album. In hindsight, I wish my first Rage Experience were "Evil Empire." I need more of this in my life today.
posted by HiPhiNation (130 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
 
The first Rage album is so, so good. And it sounds ridiculously good, too. It's almost not fair how practically-perfect it is. It's still in heavyish rotation in my car ... somewhat more so in the last year and a bit.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:45 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


There's something really fucking weird about the idea that we've reached "kids are rediscovering this old music" with '90s alt rock and its cousins. I'm old and will die soon.

If you were a white kid in the nineties in Virginia who was mad at the world but blissfully unaware of your immense privilege, this is what you listened to on your way to school. If you weren't mad at the world, it was reggae instead.
posted by selfnoise at 4:52 AM on June 8 [60 favorites]


It's hard to tell, but I think he finds Rage appealing.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:06 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


Oh! I love how delighted he is! This is great.

I think his millenialness is less important than "he’s a hip-hop head who didn’t listen to rock and metal until recently." I'm about his age (I was four when this album came out) and have listened to plenty of RATM thanks to a steady diet of slightly older boyfriends who, as you say, were white kids in the nineties who were mad at the world but blissfully unaware of their immense privilege.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:07 AM on June 8 [26 favorites]


(I was four when this album came out)
~ suddenly feels very, very, very old
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on June 8 [27 favorites]


He squealed when they got to "fuck you I won't do what you tell me". Dude literally squealed. Made my day.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:10 AM on June 8 [53 favorites]


Do snake people really not at least recognize Rage Against the Machine as familiar even if not being able to come up with their name? 'Oh yeah, those guys.'

At least a few of their songs never exited the Rebellious Teen back catalog, especially "Killing in the Name Of." Kind of like you don't need to be able to come up with Alice Cooper's name to be familiar with "School's Out for Summer" or Pink Floyd's for "Brick in the Wall Pt. II"

To the extent it's a real phenomenon, maybe it's because of the dramatic loss of influence of broadcast media and print magazines. There isn't the same inevitable exposure.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:11 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


I needed to see this right now.
posted by Optamystic at 5:13 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


Let's keep it going!
posted by the list of suspects is just you at 5:15 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


I’m so confused because I am an old millennial (1985) who grew up rage cleaning my first college apartment to Battle of Los Angeles. Is this a sheltered or young millennial thing?
posted by mostly vowels at 5:15 AM on June 8 [11 favorites]


Is this a sheltered or young millennial thing?

A hip-hop thing? I would think that if you didn't listen to rock radio you probably didn't hear any of this, except maybe on the Godzilla soundtrack, I guess.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:17 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


It's right in the article! "He’s a hip-hop head who didn’t listen to rock and metal until recently."
posted by ChuraChura at 5:17 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


The first Rage album is so, so good. And it sounds ridiculously good, too. It's almost not fair how practically-perfect it is.

Every time I go back to it, I think how timeless it is. It never sounds dated to me. I think even when I first heard it around 2001, I had no idea if it had just come out or it was a decade old. This video is really fun, and now I have to go and stick the album on.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:18 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


I can't load the video for some reason, but in the absence of something useful to say about it I have an alternative version to suggest.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:21 AM on June 8


"He’s a hip-hop head who didn’t listen to rock and metal until recently."

I would be equally bemused by a metalhead never having even heard "Fight The Power," but yeah.

As far as being born in '85, it sort of points out the weirdness of where "millenial" is supposed to begin. I was born in '80, I don't have much in common with Xers (which I usually get lumped into) or with the later millenials.

I thought generations are supposed to be 7 to 10 years (or maybe that's the fashion cycle) -- it's always seemed to me theres a missing grouping of people born around '78 - '86. That's always seemed to be my natural social cohort.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:26 AM on June 8 [18 favorites]


At least a few of their songs never exited the Rebellious Teen back catalog, especially "Killing in the Name Of."

That song really sticks it to the goddamn phonies, yes
posted by thelonius at 5:28 AM on June 8 [15 favorites]


it's always seemed to me theres a missing grouping of people born around '78 - '86. That's always seemed to be my natural social cohort.

Some people claim that's Xennials. I say that the whole "generation" thing is arbitrary nonsense.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:29 AM on June 8 [21 favorites]


I wasn't nearly as in to these guys as my peers were, way back in our salad days, but I still listened to the hits. It seemed like ineffectual and ham-fisted yelling at the wall in an empty room, but some of their tracks got me in the mood for o-chem and all the rest of my teenaged idiocy. Wake up and high school thyself, young me!

The intent and anger was certainly genuine, but it was so seemingly well-fed by the institutions they heaped opprobrium upon and despised that their advocacy felt like borderline self-parody. Things were getting better! Bill Clinton was president and the future was arriving every day! Why keep talking shit just be happy! They had lost and were lost before they even began.

And yet.

That's not how this American life played out. Bluntly dark times call for increasingly broad resistance, at least for me, on a personal aesthetic level.

"People of the Sun" means so much more to me now, possibly even close to what they wanted it to mean, especially now that I long ago escaped the Midwest for California and need something like it, than it did when I was too cool to get past "aren't you all like signed to Sony?"

God I love this band.
posted by hototogisu at 5:34 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


If you like your anger with trombones, I've discovered Brass Against the Machine (with vocals primarily by Sophia Urista.) The Paste Studio session.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 5:36 AM on June 8 [19 favorites]


From the link:

Xennials (also known as the Oregon Trail Generation and Generation Catalano) is a neologistic term used to describe people born during the Generation X/Millennial cusp years, typically from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. People who identify with Xennials, Oregon Trail Generation or Generation Catalano do so because they do not feel they fit within the typical definitions of Generation X or Millennials.

Uggggh. No. We weren't the Pepsi generation either. Or the AOL generation, which I've heard before. Although out of all the product name based suggestsions, that's probably the best one.

Maybe the PC generation, but the double entendre isn't something I want to feed.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:36 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


He seems to like Tom Morello's guitar work a whole lot.
posted by mikelieman at 5:36 AM on June 8


Oh what a great reaction video! <3 Love how specific he is with his praise, lol! Does take me back...
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:37 AM on June 8


What is the name for the generation sick to death of grouping widely disparate groups of people into tidy little marketing packages with cute names, all because someone once took a Doug Coupland book way too goddamned seriously?

Because that's my fucking generation, right there.
posted by rokusan at 5:40 AM on June 8 [31 favorites]



Oh man, he's so giddy and excited, and his energy is just so infectious! It's an awesome feeling when you find a new album that just blows your mind.

As a 31 year old, I still occasionally find albums where I never had heard any of the artist's music before, begin to listen, and just get blown away....
Maybe it'll make yourself feel old, but I just heard The Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane a few months ago and loved it.
posted by fizzix at 5:40 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


OK - now play him some MC5. Or the UK version of the first Clash album...
posted by Paul Slade at 5:41 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


My kid heard Rage a couple years ago when she was 10 and immediately connected. It's right up her alley (she has zero tolerance for racism or the patriarchy, and gives no fucks). She can be unyielding and will seethe at real or perceived injustices.

Guess how election night went for her?

She taught herself Killing in the Name on her viola, because that's how she rolls.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:48 AM on June 8 [81 favorites]


He seems to like Tom Morello's guitar work a whole lot.

I owe like ... 75% of my riff technique to Tom Morello. Dude can build a heavy groove.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:58 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


"Is he sayin' fuck the police? He ain't sayin' it, but that's what he's sayin', right?"

Amazing.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:03 AM on June 8 [23 favorites]


Slightly related: Musician and producer, Rick Beato, talks about "what makes this song great" in relation to "Killing in the Name of" . Again this series may be aimed at younger students who are studying music and who may be hearing for the first time.
posted by rongorongo at 6:04 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


That was just what I needed today.
posted by COD at 6:16 AM on June 8


This made my day. Thank you.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:17 AM on June 8


Man I normally just cannot care about reaction videos but watching this guy discover Rage is infectious. He was definitely not expecting something so potently political from a bunch of early-90s white boys, that's for sure. And those guitar riffs are still insane, I've not heard anything like that sound before or since.

Hadn't thought about Rage for years! Time to rectify that.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:22 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Yeah, RATM. Those rebellious rebels, sticking it to The Man with their Sony record deal.
posted by farlukar at 6:26 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


At least a few of their songs never exited the Rebellious Teen back catalog, especially "Killing in the Name Of."

Pet peeve: the song is called Killing in the Name. There is no of in the title.
posted by Dysk at 6:29 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Where have you gone Zack de la Rocha? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:30 AM on June 8 [32 favorites]


For real, though: ZdlR's niche was so hard to fill that not even Chuck D could stand in for him. (Prophets of Rage is terrible.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:31 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Keep both hand on the wheel, young man! 10 and 2!

Ok, carry on
posted by TheShadowKnows at 6:32 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


Where have you gone Zack de la Rocha? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

He's done some neat stuff with Run the Jewels here recently.
posted by Twain Device at 6:32 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


My delight was tempered with anxiety that he was going to get so distracted he was gonna crash.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:42 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


That gave me such joy.
posted by mondo dentro at 6:56 AM on June 8


Oh I love this - I've had an ~ 20 year argument with my dad that Rage's work is timeless because it speaks to a feeling that transcends generational bounds and time. I'm going to shove this one in front of him tonight.
posted by notorious medium at 7:02 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


It doesn't hurt that most of the bullshit RATM sang about is still happening today.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:03 AM on June 8 [15 favorites]


It seemed like ineffectual and ham-fisted yelling at the wall in an empty room

Sometimes that is exactly what one needs at the moment.

Remember that independent music wasn't really a thing in '92 to the extent that it is now. If you wanted to reach a mass audience, the big record labels were pretty much the only game in town. Yeah it's not exactly nuanced political discourse, but it was way more woke than pretty much anything else a white kid in the early 90s was likely to hear, and way more angry about it. They were one of the few groups available that was saying out loud that everything's bullshit, this is why, and it's understandable to be pissed off about it.

They were a part of white culture, but they also put into the heads of a lot of kids the idea that white culture isn't the only culture or the best culture, and that white culture oppresses and murders people who don't belong to it. They weren't wrong about that. They weren't perfect on every single possible level, but they were important and their message is still relevant, and god dammit sometimes I still just want to jump around in an empty room and rage against the machine.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:04 AM on June 8 [38 favorites]


farlukar: Those rebellious rebels, sticking it to The Man with their Sony record deal.

And Public Enemy co-released their 1991 album on Columbia. Not everyone can pull an Atari Teenage Riot stunt and sign a big deal with a high unrecoupable advance, then piss off their label, to start their own label with their former parent label's own money.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:14 AM on June 8 [21 favorites]


Yeah, RATM. Those rebellious rebels, sticking it to The Man with their Sony record deal.

I know, right? What sellouts, using their fame to highlight political issues that sheltered suburban white teenagers like I was wouldn't necessarily be hip to.

Hamburgers aside, this was delightful to watch, and much needed today. Kid Ruki recently heard Killing in the Name for the first time and it sparked a good conversation.
posted by Ruki at 7:14 AM on June 8 [27 favorites]


@selfnoise - Where did you grow up? I went to high school in Norfolk, VA, graduated in 1994, and your statement is so true it hurts me.

Also:

The greatest ‘90s reunion concert of all time will be Fugazi w/ Rage Against the Machine at the Sylvan Theatre (at the base of the Washington Monument) on Impeachment Day 2019.
posted by chinese_fashion at 7:19 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Maybe I'm old...but filming reaction videos while driving doesn't feel....safe?

Anyway, he is so giddy and that's great . It's nice to see people exposed to RATM.


Thanks for sharing!
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:30 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


This album came out while I was learning guitar. I still know most of the riffs.
posted by adept256 at 7:46 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Joe Pera: I'm sorry. Have you guys heard The Who? They rock! They're unbelievable!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:01 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Would be wrong to have a RATM post and not have someone mention the George Mason Pep Band
posted by bowmaniac at 8:02 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


I remember the RAGE of ratm - now older with clipped claws I can accept Brexit and Trump sans burning the world down.

Sad or old? I wish I cared like I did.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:02 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I think it's easy for us 40+ers to subconsciously, erroneously assume that today's teens have Grown Up So Fast in such a fucked-up world that they MUST be as jaded and inured to stuff as us. But even the edgiest of them can, mathematically, only have had so many years of exposure to RATM-esque boundary-pushing.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:03 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I'm a Boomer/X-er and was 27 when this album was released. My spouse was trying to start a student radio station at her college, and for a couple of years we got promo CDs. I vividly remember the first time I played this. It felt like I'd been waiting my whole life for this music. It pushed all my buttons. I was exactly like this guy.

I've never stopped loving angry music (of all types) and RATM will occasionally come up in my library shuffles and, yeah, it almost doesn't at all feel stale. The music's worn well, it's only dated because it defined a portion of its cultural moment.

"Oh man, he's so giddy and excited, and his energy is just so infectious! It's an awesome feeling when you find a new album that just blows your mind."

I can honestly say that the experience is among my very favorite things in life. It's become more and more infrequent as I've aged, but it still happens every couple of years. I try to keep listening to new music and the one maddening thing is that, being in my fifties, every time I discover a new favorite artist, I don't have anyone to share it with -- 'cause, you know, that's how you feel, that everyone needs to know how great this is right now.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:21 AM on June 8 [20 favorites]


Saw them play live in '93 at Lollapalooza at Thunderbird Stadium at UBC in Vancouver. Twenty-five years ago this month.
posted by JamesBay at 8:22 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Stuff like this always makes me feel old but its hard for me to be all "get off my lawn" about it as he's not really dumping on this stuff but genuinely being enthusiastic about it. While I was never a huge fan of Rage Against the Machine my younger brother was so I heard plenty of it and does define a period of time for me. I was partial to the song Freedom though. Flipping through his other videos the one on Rammstein is fun.

Wasn't there a soundtrack for a crappy movie which featured hard rock bands and Hip Hop acts performing tracks together? ah... there it is - Judgement Night. The movie was bad but the soundtrack had some inspired pairings - De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr. and Del the Funky Homosapien, Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill and ones that frankly kind of make sense to me like Slayer and Ice-T & Living Colour and Run DMC.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:23 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


> Ivan Fyodorovich:
"being in my fifties, every time I discover a new favorite artist, I don't have anyone to share it with"

I'm only (hah) 47 but I have the same problem. Anyway, you can share anything you discover with me.
posted by signal at 8:25 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


I would be equally bemused by a metalhead never having even heard "Fight The Power," but yeah.

They haven't done "Fight The Power" yet but there is an adorkable YT channel of metalheads reacting to hip hop. Here they are reacting to Nas.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:30 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


This is exactly what happened when my dad made me listen to Brahms string quartet Op. 51 no. 2

[For the record, I'm kidding. But he did in fact do that.]
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 8:34 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


I find it interesting that we seem to be focused on age vs. background, here.

RATM is canon, but a very specific, non-universal canon. To the point that for people of that world, their music has gone past classic to cliche. Kind of like how jazz folks feel about Kind of Blue, or people into classical might feel about Pachelbel's Canon. All are still great, but that greatness results in ubiquity, which leads to familiarity, then contempt - at least for people in those worlds.

What I loved about this video when I originally saw it last year is what it's built on: cross community shared experience. You're new to this? Cool. You need to experience this. I'm so happy and jealous that you get to live this for the first time. And on his side - he's so open and willing to engage with this new, different thing. I love that kids are doing that to each other now.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 8:42 AM on June 8 [18 favorites]


Who's going to be the first to break it to him that this is Paul Ryan's favorite band?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:45 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


As long as the Paul Ryan reveal comes with the added delight of Rage telling him to go to hell when they found out.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:49 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


I'm not a huge fan beyond this album, but I remember my first introduction to RATM as well. The video for Killing in the Name was played on NightFlight one night over the credits. It cut off way before any offensive lyrics had to be bleeped. It was played with Anthrax Bring the Noise, and some other metal/rap tracks. Had to be 1993/1994 maybe? Our cable system didn't have MTV (they barely played music by this point anyways) so NightFlight and USA Up All Night in little snippets were the only places to see 'alternative' music videos. You had to put in the work to hear new music in those days.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:51 AM on June 8


The RATM Killing in the Name video itself is grainy concert footage, which was a huge difference from Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica's bigger budget affairs. It stood out.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:53 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


"Oh man, he's so giddy and excited, and his energy is just so infectious! It's an awesome feeling when you find a new album that just blows your mind."

Yeah, I'll chime in with everyone else and say this guy must get a lot of traffic on his YT channel as he has a lot of infectious energy. It is a classic album and it's cool he's into it.

That said, the album will forever be coloured for me by just how the white jocks of my day were into it, chanting "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" at parties as I drank silently, jaded, thinking that you'll do whatever the fuck you're told. And now those people have grown up, moved to Unionville and voted in Doug Ford.
posted by GuyZero at 8:55 AM on June 8 [20 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: every time I discover a new favorite artist, I don't have anyone to share it with -- 'cause, you know, that's how you feel, that everyone needs to know how great this is right now.

You know where we are, right? (But really, I'm thinking we should have a "best thing you've heard/ read this month" thread in MeTa, because I realize that not everyone is comfortable making posts, and not everything is post-worthy, so I did -- pending mod approval.)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on June 8 [12 favorites]


Who's going to be the first to break it to him that this is Paul Ryan's favorite band?

Or that Alan Keyes once moshed to them?
posted by piedmont at 9:30 AM on June 8


Hopefully all of you also rewatched the "Sleep now in the Fire" video where there is a "Trump for President" sign. Prophetic.
posted by HiPhiNation at 9:36 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Remember that independent music wasn't really a thing in '92 to the extent that it is now. If you wanted to reach a mass audience, the big record labels were pretty much the only game in town.

OK, I graduated HS in the early 90s and this is not my remembered reality at all. Everyone I knew kept meticulous mental notes on who "sold out" and when. The moment that you heard your favorite band signed to a major label was a moment of despair and soul-searching. I despised RATM when they released their first record (before I even listened to it) because I had seen Zach when he performed in Inside Out and this seemed to be an utter betrayal of his roots. (I felt similarly about Pearl Jam, which, from my perspective, seemed to have come out of nowhere.) I'm a bit more sanguine in my middle age, but I still can't shake my youthful contention that Rage were just a bunch of sellouts.

Indie music was a crucial signifier in the late 80s early 90s. If you "cared" about music, you perused every small zine and music magazine you could get your hands on; you scanned all the liner notes to see what bands were thanked, so that you could buy their records too; you traded mixtapes with pen pals. You planned pilgrimages to college towns so that you could haunt every single record store for hours at a stretch.

I grew up in a small town, for the record, so this wasn't something that only kids in major cities did.
posted by cowboy_sally at 9:36 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


>> Yeah, RATM. Those rebellious rebels, sticking it to The Man with their Sony record deal.
> I know, right? What sellouts, using their fame to highlight political issues that sheltered suburban white teenagers like I was wouldn't necessarily be hip to.
Well it's probably the privilege of me not being a sheltered kid back then, having reasonable ways to be informed if you chose to, and living in a not-quite-as-fucked-up society.

I saw them live 2 or 3 times at festivals, and walking past the merchandise stalls I couldn't help but think "And now you do what they tell you! And now you'll buy our overpriced t-shirt! And now you'll be a true rebel because it's got a Che Guevara print on it!"
posted by farlukar at 9:37 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


My first thought was, "Man, I want a friend like him!" And my second thought was, "Nah, I want to be a friend like this to MY friends!"
posted by Silvery Fish at 9:41 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


And now you'll be a true rebel because it's got a Che Guevara print on it!"

bless, it's been so long since i've seen a good old-fashioned WAKE UP SHEEPLE here, thank you for the nostalgia.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:43 AM on June 8 [22 favorites]


Way back in 1999 I was working in a Jamba Juice on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica (for those of you who unfamiliar with Los Angeles economic geography, this is a popular shopping area for people with money who are looking to spend without being ridiculously showy about it). The pay was not great (when I was hired they bragged about starting pay being an entire $0.25 higher than the minimum wage), and I was meeting certain definitions of homelessness (couch surfing with friends after having lost my lease when my previous job evaporated) and making bad choices regarding narcotics and the company I was keeping.

Due to the area in which our store was located we got a bunch of celebrities. Some of them were an absolute delight (Annette Bening), some of them were very much not (Meg Ryan), and most of them just wanted to get their smoothies with as little human interaction as possible.

One day Zach de la Rocha came into our store because there was a Rage video being filmed down the block from us. He let us know that there was plenty of food at craft service and that we were all invited to come out and eat with the band and crew on our break. Maybe it was just a guy living his gimmick, but at that stage of my life any free food meant a lot to me and I will always appreciate how I felt about his taking the time to do that.

Also, while checking the spelling of his name I learned that his father was Beto de la Rocha (how I never made the connection before is a mystery), which means that I have met the children of two members of Los Four. I have no explanation for why I feel like this is an accomplishment, but I somehow feel that way.

Yeah, RATM. Those rebellious rebels, sticking it to The Man with their Sony record deal.

Last month when the internet was having tedious arguments about whether or not Grimes was a "real goth", I declared the 90s to be the most back they could possibly be. But then this comment happened; we have achieved previously-undreamt levels of 90s backness.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:44 AM on June 8 [38 favorites]


filthy light thief: I'm thinking we should have a "best thing you've heard/ read this month" thread in MeTa

And now we do! Derails re-railed?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:46 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I think his millenialness is less important than "he’s a hip-hop head who didn’t listen to rock and metal until recently."

It's been fun watching hip-hop discover metal - again? Though some folks maybe primarily discovered metal T-shirts but that's okay.
posted by atoxyl at 9:47 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


"Is he sayin' fuck the police? He ain't sayin' it, but that's what he's sayin', right?"

I dig rock and roll music
I could really get it on in that scene.
I think I could say somethin' if you know what I mean
But if I really say it, the radio won't play it
Unless I lay it between the lines

-Peter Paul and Mary
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 9:47 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


Someone needs to make a movie about RATM reuniting One Last Time, like Voltron, to fight Mecha-Trump amid the monuments of DC.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:55 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Those of a certain age may remember when they were railed against by their original name, "The Machine Rages On"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:56 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


As a millennial who reached adolescence in the 00s we definitely knew who RATM were, though. I was going to say because they were the cool older brother of radio nu metal, but actually - because they were on The Matrix soundtrack.
posted by atoxyl at 9:57 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Anyone else here thinking 'hey dude, dont' be driving on the highway, listening to this for the first time, doing a vodcast; ATTENTION!' It's the same feeling I get when I see folks in a movie talking to each other, completely ignoring the road; except there it's fictional.

To his credits I noted him listening to other RATM in a parked car; much more appropriate.
posted by el io at 9:57 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


> fearfulsymmetry:
"My delight was tempered with anxiety that he was going to get so distracted he was gonna crash."

Looks like that Jeep at 1:44 is crashing. Wonder what it is they're listening to...
posted by chavenet at 10:06 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


As someone who lived through the time period of the first album I'm ashamed to say I never realized what R.A.T.M. was about. I assumed it was some kind of privileged white kid frat rock thing where all the rage was performative. It was too over the top to engage me. Now, recently with the excellent Brass Against the Machine I've been discovering R.A.T.M. for the first time twenty five years late.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:06 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


> el io:
"To his credits I noted him listening to other RATM in a parked car; much more appropriate."

I took that to mean he loved the music so much he convinced it to pull into lover's lane for a snuggle.
posted by chavenet at 10:14 AM on June 8


I can honestly say that the experience is among my very favorite things in life. It's become more and more infrequent as I've aged, but it still happens every couple of years.

Purest one of these I can recall was just after having bought The Auntie Winnie Album completely unheard, for no better reason than that I liked the name and the cover art. Stuck it in the car stereo, which was fortunately already turned up to eleven, and the opening guitar and keyboard attack of Malvolio's Dream Journey to Pikes just melted me.

I've subsequently bought at least one copy of everything (I think) Nick Saloman has ever released. So prolific, and such range. And yet I've only ever heard him played on (indy) radio once.

We now return you to your regular RATM appreciation session.
posted by flabdablet at 10:19 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]




FU for making me mems html metafilter (kids, but seriously).
posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:49 AM on June 8


Indie music was a crucial signifier in the late 80s early 90s.

I mean, it's good that you used the word signifier and put cared in quotes because yours is a particular subcultural experience that isn't universal.

That is, a lot of people had different signifiers, and they cared about music in a different way. In particular, a lot of us cared more about the music itself - how it sounded, what it said - than whether the band's actions lived up to some standard of ideological consistency. And, personally, I distanced myself from the "sellout" complaints because in my experience it was often more about gatekeeping than anything else.

(And then there were the people who were into weirder stuff.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:20 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


Well it's probably the privilege of me not being a sheltered kid back then, having reasonable ways to be informed if you chose to, and living in a not-quite-as-fucked-up society.

I was 13 when Killing in the Name was released. I lived in a town so white that I literally did not have any black classmates, and wouldn't until I was a senior in a high school and then there was one black kid in the entire school. There was no internet, I couldn't drive nor was it age appropriate for me to have friends that could, so... yeah, I was a sheltered kid. I can't help the circumstances under which I grew up though, so I'm grateful for being exposed to RatM at a formative time when my resources were limited. Not everyone has access to politically active indie bands or underground zines or stuff like that, so if "selling out" gets the message out to a larger audience, I see it as a good thing.
posted by Ruki at 11:50 AM on June 8 [10 favorites]


it's always seemed to me theres a missing grouping of people born around '78 - '86. That's always seemed to be my natural social cohort.

I call us the Taint Generation, aka the Perinials.
posted by brundlefly at 12:04 PM on June 8 [18 favorites]


I first listened to Rage Against the Machine when I was 9 and I was born in '92. where do I fit in? haha, thanks internet
posted by yueliang at 12:08 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


It's really easy to get mad about people/bands "selling out" when you're a teenager because you have no life experience and therefore precisely fuck-all knowledge about how hard the world makes it to avoid sacrificing any of one's ideals for survival.

Nowadays when I see grown adults ranting angrily about "sellouts" I tend to just assume they're coming from such a place of privilege that they've never really had to grow up, never been forced to choose between their conscience or their belly.

I liked RATM when I was a suburban white teen, and "forgave" them for selling out, but I honestly feel like they really resonate more with me now. I'm not sure you can properly be angry at the machine until you've actually spent some time inside it.

Also, "Xennials" sounds like a hack scifi writer's made-up alien species name, where later you wonder why the totally alien language still uses common affixes like "-ial" at the ends of words. I reject that label on those grounds alone.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:42 PM on June 8 [12 favorites]


"Xennials" is the latest teen mutant comic book from Marvel you've been waiting for!
posted by cazoo at 12:59 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


(Slyt via Reddit / ratm cover / so very good).

FYI, because of the Bari Sax on that outstanding Brass Against cover, I've spent the afternoon going down a YouTube hole of Morphine records, which I somehow still know all the words to.
posted by god hates math at 1:01 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


And now you'll buy our overpriced t-shirt! And now you'll be a true rebel because it's got a Che Guevara print on it!

Well, y'know, the revolution is just a t-shirt away.

I was 17 in 1992, and very much the right demo to be into Rage Against the Machine. Some of my friends really dug them, but while I respected what they were doing I just didn't get into them as much - just the style of music didn't so as much for me. For me the angry music of the time was Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.
posted by nickmark at 1:21 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I don't mind bands "selling out" per se. There were loads of acts in the same musical area with political messages signed to majors (Living Colour, Body Count, whatev) and that's fine with me.

Then there are the explicitly anti-establishment acts such as Consolidated who got shit when one of their distributors turned out to be owned by a major; or Cop Shoot Cop, who got shit when one of their tunes was used in a Nike commercial years after they split (they probably got screwed by whoever ended up with the publishing rights). I'd say the outrage was a bit exaggerated.

Then there's the explicitly ant-establishment act that gets paid by the establishment straight away... I might just be the jaded cynic I'm made out to be, but... I dunno.


Anyhoo, the biggest problem I have with RATM is Morello's "O hai, I've got this shiny new FX box check it out" *meedly meedly meedly* *prrioowioow* *woopwoopwoop*
posted by farlukar at 1:24 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


This cheered me up immensely on a day I really needed that. Thanks.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 1:30 PM on June 8


"(Slyt via Reddit / ratm cover / so very good)."

I thought about mentioning that earlier because it really is quite good.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:40 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I just "discovered" RATM earlier this decade, when I was well into my 40s. In the early 90s I was a newly married MBA climbing the corporate ladder and starting a family.

Can't imagine why RATM didn't resonate with me back then :)
posted by COD at 1:48 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Turn that shit up!!!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:05 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Members of Rage Against the Machine have been asked about "selling out" in interviews, and I thought their replies were on the mark.

Tom Morello: 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.

Zack de la Rocha: Yeah, to get as many people as possible to join the political debate, to get the dialogue going. I was wondering today, why would anyone climb to the roof of the American Embassy with a banner that says "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal", why do you do that? That's to get the international press' attention. The international network that Sony has available, is to me the perfect tool you know, it can get even more people to join a revolutionary awareness and fight.

posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:16 PM on June 8 [19 favorites]


Rage still slaps. Perhaps now more than ever.
posted by mhum at 2:52 PM on June 8


Then again, they were at the forefront of "Gore and Bush are, like, the same, man" bullshit, which look where that got us, and also that's exactly what I'd expect a bunch of sellouts to say...
posted by tobascodagama at 3:34 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I'm blown away by how tight the band sounds in this "Rage Against The Machine - First Public Performance Full Concert"
posted by starman at 3:37 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


This cover by a string quartet is pretty solid too.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 4:59 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


We weren't the Pepsi generation either. Or the AOL generation, which I've heard before. Although out of all the product name based suggestsions, that's probably the best one.

The Generation of the Depend Adult Undergarment? The Generation of the Tucks Medicated Pad? The Generation of the Trial-Size Dove Bar?
posted by rokusan at 6:48 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


That was awesome!

I shamefully have to admit to having a "rage against the lawnmower" playlist that contains a lot of RATM, Ministry, nin, Manson, KMFDM, fear factory and other assorted angry and loud 90s music for mowing the lawn. Yep, I now rebel by mowing the lawn! I'm doing exactly what you told me!
posted by WaterAndPixels at 7:41 PM on June 8 [7 favorites]


FUCK YOU I WON'T POISON THE CLOVER
posted by flabdablet at 1:23 AM on June 9 [7 favorites]


Guys guys guys. I drank too much coffee to channel the spirit of the 90s and I've got it.

You know how the boomers lost their idealism became yuppies and were the Me Generation?

And how our experience is somehow characterized by the end of the cold war, the 90s cultural and economic bubble, the arrival of the early internet, its initial commercialization and then the slide of all of that optimism and dynamism into Y2K and 9-11?

We're the Meh Generation.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:02 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Why is he filming a Youtube reaction video while driving?!?!
posted by agregoli at 6:22 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Because he knows that if the car crashes and burns in a spectacular fireball shown from three different angles and then again in slo-mo, he can just respawn.

This is how the gamer generation do.
posted by flabdablet at 8:00 AM on June 9


I expected the millenial reaction would be more like "ok, I will gladly do what you tell me".
posted by kevinbelt at 8:25 AM on June 9


...today, for payment tuesday
posted by flabdablet at 8:44 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


He was definitely not expecting something so potently political from a bunch of early-90s white boys, that's for sure.

They're not white boys.
posted by lunasol at 10:20 AM on June 9 [10 favorites]


I expected the millenial reaction would be more like "ok, I will gladly do what you tell me".

Maybe that's your point of view, oldster, but all those millennials taking orders from you are really thinking "OK, I will pretend to gladly do what you tell me, since your generation sold us down the river before I was even born, and the precarity of our social situation means it's either obey or starve. As soon as I'm off work I'll be throwing darts at a portrait of you and hitting up a DSA meeting, cuz your bourgeois ass isn't fixing anything any time soon."
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 1:17 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


Kind of like how jazz folks feel about Kind of Blue, or people into classical might feel about Pachelbel's Canon.

I’ve never known an actual jazzer who had anything but positive feelings towards Kind of Blue, honestly. The pushback I’ve seen towards it has only ever come from the sort of people who were humanities majors in college that recognized that they’d never make it in academia, and maybe had a band in high school, and sought to become music reviewers as a result, and lacked any perspective on the means of music beyond its being just an assemblage of genre signifiers. It’s why today I could ask any number of the wildly skillful musicians I know about how they feel about RATM and they’d likely respond with some variation of “hell yeah, they rock, they’re tight as shit.” Familiarity with the means breeds the opposite of contempt, if you’re open to it.
posted by invitapriore at 7:51 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


"ok, I will gladly do what you tell me.
..today, for payment tuesday"


Got 'em with the ol' reverse-Wimpy.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:50 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


What I found interesting about the reviewer is how intensely he seemed to be concentrating on the lyrics of "Killing in the Name". I suppose that might be more normal for hip hop fans - but I feel it is not how most people experience a song for the first time. But what lyrics did he understand, I wonder?

Musically, I think this track is brilliantly composed, performed and produced depiction of anger: building gradually, forming pressure and then exploding in a articulated way. But lyrically? To be honest I don't know exactly what the song is complaining about *. And that very ambiguity that allows it to be a perfect soundtrack to feeling aggrieved about anything (in 2009, the UK, the song became the number selling song at Christmas by those in opposition to Simon Cowell's annual output from "The X Factor" - for example). Maybe that is intentional - maybe not. But it is very marketable, for sure.

* On a closer listen, I am still not sure whether the song is about being weary of following those in power who may actually be surreptitious advocates of racism ("some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses") or if it is about ex-military people who opt to kill in the name of Christianity- literally "killing in the name of...": ("some of those who were forces, are the same who bore crosses") - both sets of lyrics seem to be out there in the wild.
posted by rongorongo at 12:02 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


(I was four when this album came out)
~ suddenly feels very, very, very old


I was thirty-six. Trust me, you'll probably survive.

Saw them play live in '93 at Lollapalooza at Thunderbird Stadium at UBC in Vancouver. Twenty-five years ago this month.

uh-oh -- I think that's the one I had to leave early for stupid (other) human reasons. I do recall Dinosaur Jr sounding like the world's greatest and biggest rec-room jam band ever. But Mercury Rev stole the day (or certainly timed their arrival on the second stage to my shrooms peaking).
posted by philip-random at 9:07 PM on June 10


@rongorongo, I think you're right about the lyrics in the first sense. IMO the song overall alludes to systemic and background racism and how that comes out in various aspects (particularly police violence) in US society: crypto-racists using dog whistles in public and doing vile things when out of public scrutiny, and people engaging in state-sponsored murder doing it in the name of justice and appealing to authority.
posted by coolname at 1:11 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


"There's something really fucking weird about the idea that we've reached "kids are rediscovering this old music" with '90s alt rock and its cousins. I'm old and will die soon."

It's doubly bizarre when you're a millennial technically. Metallica was just background rock music when I was in highschool, in rotation with all the alt-rock and shitty nu-metal floating around the day. Even Linkin Park has become some nostalgic band people remissness and look up to, back then you just made fun of the kids who were seriously into it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:27 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as a millennial myself I find it weird the way this is presented. RATM were literally unavoidable when I was a teenager in the early 2000s in Hong Kong. A bunch of local bands were largely copying their musical style (LMF!). Renegades came out in 2000. That handful of years between him and me makes that gargantuan a difference? I dunno, I still recognise and am familiar with the bands and other cultural markers people five or six years older or younger than me talk about, even if they don't resonate with me or weren't part of my youth directly. Just how young is this supposed millennial?
posted by Dysk at 2:42 AM on June 14


I think some people hear "millennial" and think that means they were born in 2000.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:03 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Yabbut, those kids are just becoming young adults now. It's freaky, but we've now got adults running around who were born in the 2000s. I'd think that for several reasons, not the least 9/11, they'd be a fairly distinctive cohort. I guess that this would be true as far back as, say, 1993, though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:24 PM on June 14




That Louder Sound article has a classic video of RATM playing Killing In The Name live on BBC Radio 5. They told the producers that they would sing radio-friendly lyrics but, uh, you know that they say about doing what they tell you...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:58 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


And here's what the radio broadcast sounded like. "We were expecting it, and asked them not to do it, but they did it anyway".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:01 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


Video no longer available?
posted by Horselover Fat at 6:02 AM on June 15


Both still working for me (Australia).
posted by flabdablet at 8:20 AM on June 15


"This video has been removed by the user."

Dagnabit.
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on June 16


New link. From the notes:
This channel is sitting on strikes and I'm cleaning it up yall. Had to mute the eargasm part because it gave me a copyright strike. I'm trying to keep these videos "forever" so I can look back at it 10yrs from now and it hasn't been taken down.
posted by Lexica at 8:56 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


>> Had to mute the eargasm part

Between 6:15 and 7:07 in the new version.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 5:09 AM on June 28


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