June Power Songs: “Killing in the Name”

Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine

“Killing in the Name”
by Rage Against the Machine
from the album Rage Against the Machine
Buy the album on Amazon

Obviously pretty much every RATM song is a power song in every sense. It’s probably why I can’t claim to be a huge fan – I didn’t get into them until I was old enough to need to take them in smaller doses. I own 2 or 3 of their albums and could only name 2 or 3 of their songs. This one is pretty much the king of the hill.

Unlike some of their songs, this one starts relatively slow, with a standard slower verse/faster chorus setup. Then it really gets interesting. When Zack de la Rocha starts quietly chanting “Fuck you. I won’t do what you tell me”, you know he’s had enough. And it’s a very short jump to put yourself there instead of him. The great thing about it is it’s not just about the message and the feelings the song incites – it’s a song that gets you moving with killer musicality as well.

Others are much more eloquent than me when writing about this song. The Wikipedia page includes the quote “a howling, expletive-driven tirade against the ills of American society.” and a YouTube commenter wrote “it’s the anti-establishment war-cry of my generation.” Yep and yep.

In a somewhat shameful admission, it should also be noted that this song could have been a #KaraokeTuesday post as well. Lance and I have done this song 2 or 3 times in our career (usually as a trio with our friend Sasha) and, well, it was pretty horrible. it’s one of those songs that are just so fun to sing along to at karaoke, but then you try and you realize you’re about the most white middle-class non-fighting-against-the-establishment you know. I think we finally realized we were doing the song a disservice by singing it and retired it from the roster.

About Chris

Chris is a digital producer based in Toronto, but don't worry, he's American. He enjoys karaoke and video games that are old enough to cost under $20. He used to be a master of the pit and live shows but can hardly keep up with anything new nowadays, so he usually goes to his happy place of media from his wayward youth. Chris is still trying to figure out what to be when he grows up.

One thought on “June Power Songs: “Killing in the Name”

  1. I love RATM. I didn’t realized you weren’t a huge fan… the way you poured your heart into the karaoke version…

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