Rage Against the Machine VS X-Factor is about more than Cowell or Sony BMG

Rodney King

Unless you’ve been away from the UK for the past week you will probably know that the race for this year’s Christmas number one is a rivalry of a different kind. In one corner there’s  X-Factor winner Joe McElderry’s and in the other Rage Against the Machine with their 1992 single ‘Killing in the Name of’,  promoted through a Facebook campaign which has attracted over 800,000 members.

Although numerous articles have been written about this unprecedented race for No.1, the vast majority have simply focused on how it illustrates that people are fed up with Simon Cowell’s pop factory. Very few articles,  if any at all, have talked about the song ‘Killing in the Name of’ and the charitable cause which is running alongside the Facebook campaign,  so I just want to briefly talk about these points.

‘Killing in the Name of’ was composed during George Bush Sr’s presidency and the song is about the riots in Los Angeles that followed the acquital of the LAPD during the trial of Rodney King . For instance, the lyrics ‘Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses’ suggests that  some of the LAPD were also members of the Klu Klux Klan.

In case your memory needs jogging, here is the video a bystander filmed of the beating that Rodney King took from the LAPD:

The other point is that the Facebook campaign to make ‘Killing in the Name of’ Number 1 has raised over £80,000 for Shelter, the homelessness charity. Furthermore, Rage Against the Machine plan to donate  some of the proceeds from the singles sale to a charity which helps children progress their musical careers in the UK.

It has been said that ultimately the ‘Killing in the Name of’ campaign is not really an anti establishment initiative because Rage Against the Machine are signed up to record label Sony BMG – not only is it one of the biggest labels in the music industry but is the same one to which Joe McElderry is signed to. However, for most who buy ‘Killing in the Name of’ it’s not about Sony BMG, it’s about illustrating that when enough people get together and are well motivated things can change, regardless of what is expected or ‘meant to happen’.

So when you think about the race for this year’s Number 1 remember that ‘Killing in the Name of’ is about much more than just ‘sticking it to the man’ and that real positive change will happen on the streets (literally) of the UK as a result of the money the Facebook campaign has raised.

And just for fun, here are the lyrics to ‘Killing in the Name of’  – in full 😉

Killing in the name of!
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Huh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
But now you do what they told ya
Well now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Uggh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control (7 times)
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya!

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
Come on!

Yeah! Come on!

Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Motherfucker!

2 thoughts on “Rage Against the Machine VS X-Factor is about more than Cowell or Sony BMG

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