Every day that we get further and further into this oligarchic corporate climate collapse dystopia I miss Rage Against the Machine more and more. There’s plenty to lament about how the LA band’s substantive critique of American capitalist imperialism was ignored by dead-eyed frat boys who instead just latched onto the music’s raw aggression, but that underlying message never went away. Listening to their records now—especially their self-titled debut—is still as powerful an experience as ever. Their message of resistance, of angry defiance, calls to us from the rapidly receding past and yet it as burns bright as day. With an overt white supremacist live-tweeting human rights abuses in the White House, a parasitic class of billionaires accelerating the planet’s doom, and America’s imperial wars showing no sign of coming to an end it’s a message that is more timely now than ever.
Covering Rage Against The Machine is a fraught endeavour. Zack de la Rocha is a fierce vocalist. His delivery was what the adjective ‘incendiary’ was invented for. And that’s because he absolutely, totally, one hundred percent believed every accusing word he spat at the cruel and callous system his band raged against. You don’t even bother picking up a mic to cover a RATM song unless you step up with a boatload of conviction behind you and an almighty fire in your belly. Now, I don’t really know much about American rapper Denzel Curry, but he decided to test his mettle and cover the Rage Against The Machine single ‘Bulls On Parade.’ ‘Bulls On Parade’ appeared on Rage’s 1996 album ‘Evil Empire’ and it’s a sledgehammer-heavy denunciation of war profiteer politicians. When playing it live, Rage used to dedicate the song to Tony Blair. Denzel’s cover appeared yesterday on the Aussie programme ‘Like a Version’ (that’s the show that gave us that gorgeous ‘Believe’ cover), and let me tell you: The boy brought the goods. This is the anger we need right now.
And hey, if that’s not enough to kickstart the revolution, then here’s a bonus, let comrade Sophia Urista take us there:
Header Image Source: ABC (via YouTube)