Chuck D & B-Real Talk Merging With Rage Against The Machine & Significance
This month, it was revealed that members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill had come together to form Prophets Of Rage. The band, featuring R.A.T.M.’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk merges with the vocals of Chuck D and B-Real for an upcoming project. P.E.’s DJ Lord makes the sixth man of the group, further giving Prophets its Hip-Hop backbone. While Zack De La Rocha, Rage’s longtime vocalist is reportedly not involved, it carries three group’s discographies to a new place at a critical time.
In speaking with Rolling Stone, both Chuck D and B-Real compared R.A.T.M. to 1970s British Rock & Roll superstars Led Zeppelin. The members of Rage Against The Machine also trace the band’s history against performing with Cypress and P.E., and what those two Hip-Hop group’s music meant to the fabric of their act.
“Tom [Morello] talked to my wife first,” Chuck revealed. “She’s very deep into the politics of Latinos, Blacks, inequalities and stuff like that. They had a great conversation. For years I heard the rumor that Zack [De La Rocha] isn’t going to perform with Rage Against Machine and they’ll need someone to fill in. I talked to Tom and said, ‘Sure.'”
“What [Tom Morello] said to me was along the lines of, ‘The people need a voice right now. People need to hear these songs; a message,'” B-Real recalled. “I was all about that. I’m not necessarily known for being in the political realm outside of [marijuana] legalization and whatnot. But I do have my beliefs. I think he valued that and decided to give me a call. I agreed that people need a voice right now. If we can serve that, I’m all for it.” Morello produced two songs on Cypress Hill’s most recent LP, 2010’s Rise Up.
The band began rehearsals in Hollywood, California. Chuck D, an MC known for his commanding voice describes his role in the Prophet Of Rage live show as “Four hours of yelling and loud and bringing the noise for five, six days a week. I don’t think normal people could do this shit. I don’t mean I’m abnormal, though.”
Chuck, who has worked with Terminator X and Johnny Juice, also put on his current DJ. “People need to know that DJ Lord is one of the six members of the group. He’s been doing turntables for Public Enemy for the last 17 years […] he’ll bust a motherfucker’s ass. There’s no one better.”
With one confirmed concert date, and some admitted fresh songs created, Tom Morello may best explain why this group has excitement and impact. “Prophets of Rage combines the sonic power of Rage, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill. It’s my contention that we can no longer stand on the sidelines of history. Dangerous times demand dangerous songs. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both constantly referred to in the media as raging against the machine. We’ve come back to remind everyone what raging against the machine really means.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the members of R.A.T.M. discuss Zack’s response to the group’s decision without him, the likelihood of a concert outside the Republican National Committee, and more. B-Real also recalls moshing at early Rage shows, while Chuck D recalls receiving the band’s demo cassette tape.
#BonusBeat: Rage Against The Machine’s studio cover of Cypress Hill’s 1991 hit, “How I Could Just Kill A Man”: