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Prophets Of Rage

In a year of political upheaval in the United States, Prophets of Rage united members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill to create a voice for the frustrated and discontent. Formed in early 2016 by Rage guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk, Public Enemy's main man Chuck D and turntablist DJ Lord, and Cypress Hill rapper B Real, Prophets of Rage combined the anti-establishment pedigree of the three groups like a socially conscious Voltron, utilizing the propulsive power and urgency of Rage, the fearlessness of Public Enemy, and the menace of Cypress Hill. Taking their name from the eponymous Public Enemy song -- which appeared on their 1988 sophomore classic It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back -- the group made its debut in Los Angeles on May 31, 2016, performing a mix of mostly Rage Against the Machine hits, a handful of Public Enemy tracks, a Cypress Hill medley, and a mash-up of the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" and PE's "Fight the Power." Chuck D and B Real took turns at the fore, switching lead and hype man duties, while Rage's formidable rhythm section and Morello's virtuoso guitar effects provided the sonic attack. A North American summer tour -- dubbed "Make America Rage Again" -- was announced soon after, with proceeds from the tour benefiting local homeless charities at each stop. The tour kicked off in Cleveland as a planned protest of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Their first single -- also called "Prophets of Rage" -- premiered a few hours before the official start of the event. Produced by Brendan O'Brien, the track included a reworking of Chuck D's original PE verse, additional sneer from foil B Real, and a classic Rage Against the Machine buildup/release close. The band performed the song at a pair of guerilla protest rallies during the convention, closing out its three-day stint with a gig at the Agora Theatre. Continuing on tour, they brought their message to 35 cities in both the United States and Canada. The group's debut EP, The Party's Over, was released that summer. Returning to the studio with O'Brien, they began recording their debut self-titled full-length. That effort's first single, "Unfuck the World," arrived in 2017.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo


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