Few rock bands can come out of retirement and have hip-hop legends lining up to take over vocals. By a few, I should say no one but Rage Against the Machine. That’s exactly what happened last year. After a few years of taking time off, they are back, and on tour as Prophets of Rage. Stepping in, to fill the void of the ever elusive Zack de la Rocha, are the legendary B-Real and Chuck D. B-Real is best known for being a founding member of Cypress Hill, while Chuck D is one half Public Enemy. Together, they share vocal duties as Profits of Rage runs through the vast Rage Against the Machine catalog. They have put together a few original pieces since they came together last year to form this super group that has the same hard hitting rock/hip-hop vibes they are all known for. Guitarist Tom Morello’s hip hop influence is well known and his ability to flip a hip-hop song into a hard rock song is legendary. When Tom reached out to Chuck D & B-Real, they were humbled that they were chosen for this task. They have all been friends for years, and the goal has always been to come together and make music together.
What better time than now for this amazing musical blessing to happen? Our county is in constant disagreement with such controversial subjects as racial inequality, justice, freedom, and oppression. Their political fueled lyrics hold more meaning now than ever. Being the voice to the masses for such subjects, RATM made it known in the early 90s as being a voice for the voiceless. I will argue with anyone that their self-titled debut album was one of rock’s greatest recordings. Still to this day, I can put it on and play it from end to end, and with time I’m only more amazed how it holds up. They put together a discography that demands respect.
Ask yourself this: When is the last time a band put out 4 albums, switched singers and their genre, and had continued success for 3+ more albums? I’m pretty sure it has not been done to this scale, or even at all. That’s exactly what RATM did when de la Rocha left. They added Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and went on to have success as AudioSlave. Now add to this already powerful core band, the vocals of Chuck D and B-Real, and it’s insane. Growing up I was huge fan of both Public Enemy and Cypress Hill. Public Enemy was the RATM of hip-hop in the 80s and Cypress Hill was the epitome of West Coast gangster rap in the 90s. Put this all together and it’s simply crazy. It really says a lot about a rock band when 2 legends from another music genre can come in and provide vocals for your whole music catalog. That’s exactly what B-Real and Chuck D have done. They didn’t have to learn the words, they already knew them. From what I have read online, their set consists of mostly RATM tracks with a few Public Enemy and Cypress Hill jams thrown in. I cannot wait to hear Morello’s guitars on those Cypress Hills songs!
When I heard they were going to come together and tour, I was so happy. I was willing to drive hours to see this show, but then they updated their tour schedule and Cincinnati was added as a stop! I have to admit, when I first heard this was happening I went online and watched their first show together; it was awesome. They sound like they have been playing together for years, and I’m sure all the shows they’ve done so far has only made them that much tighter, musically. This will be a once in a lifetime chance to see this magic happen in person. Riverbend, prepare to RAGE!