Hip Hop Fan Freaks Out When He Hears Rage Against the Machine’s Debut Album for the Very First Time

I con­sid­er myself lucky to have been a child of the nineties. As you know from Port­landia’s trib­ute to the decade of slack, it was a time when “peo­ple were con­tent to be unam­bi­tious and sleep to 11 and just hang out with their friends.” Start a band, start a t‑shirt com­pa­ny, build a web­site, go to clown school, or don’t, what­ev­er, no pres­sure…. In con­trast to the hyper­com­pet­i­tive, social media-sat­u­rat­ed, pre­car­i­ous gig econ­o­my lives of har­ried, over­worked, under­paid mil­len­ni­als, we had it pret­ty easy. But we knew things were poised to explode. At the same time, it was a decade of cul­tur­al pas­sion for rev­o­lu­tion, peace, and justice—conscious hip hop, Riot Grrrl, Lilith Fair, and Rage Against the Machine, maybe the most rad­i­cal­ly uncom­pro­mis­ing band since Crass. The rap/rock/metal hybrid seam­less­ly blend­ed the rev­o­lu­tion­ary funk and polit­i­cal fury of Pub­lic Ene­my with the vir­tu­oso riffage of Eddie Van Halen.

I only wish that, like the guy in the video above, I could hear them again for the first time, blast­ing from the car stereo, blow­ing my mind every few sec­onds. How is it that this guy had nev­er heard Rage’s incred­i­ble self-titled debut? For one thing, I guess, he prob­a­bly hadn’t even been born when it came out in 1992.

For anoth­er, he’s a hip-hop head who didn’t lis­ten to rock and met­al until recent­ly, when, as his YouTube chan­nel doc­u­ments, he decid­ed to start sam­pling bands in his car and upload­ing his real-time reac­tions. How very 2018. He’s exposed him­self to some great stuff—Megadeth, Deftones, Iron Maid­en, Metal­li­ca, Motör­head. He’s sam­pled Audioslave, gui­tarist Tom Morello’s post-Rage super­group. And some oth­er bands I won’t com­ment on.

He also put togeth­er a mix­tape of met­al he thinks would cross over to his hip hop friends. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, many of the bands he rec­om­mends pull heav­i­ly from Rage Against the Machine, who them­selves pulled from the Beast­ie Boys, AnthraxSui­ci­dal Ten­den­ciesFaith No More.… Rage didn’t come from nowhere—we’d heard con­scious rap and met­al meet before, even just the pre­vi­ous year when Anthrax and Pub­lic Ene­my put out their ver­sion of “Bring the Noise.” The late eighties/early nineties pro­duced organ­ic rap/metal crossovers before the prob­lem­at­ic advent of “nu met­al.” But when YouTu­ber YouY­ouY­ou!!! hits pause at 3:38 and screams “WHAT IS THIS! WHAT IS THIS!” I relate. It was more or less my reac­tion when I first heard “Know Your Ene­my,” “Take the Pow­er Back,” and “Killing in the Name” blast from the tape deck. YouY­ouY­ou!!! takes rec­om­men­da­tions. I rec­om­mend he work his way through all of Rage’s cat­a­log.

via Twist­ed Sifter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear a 4 Hour Playlist of Great Protest Songs: Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Bob Mar­ley, Pub­lic Ene­my, Bil­ly Bragg & More

What Makes This Song Great?: Pro­duc­er Rick Beato Breaks Down the Great­ness of Clas­sic Rock Songs in His New Video Series

A Mas­sive 800-Track Playlist of 90s Indie & Alter­na­tive Music, in Chrono­log­i­cal Order

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (19) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (19)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • BW says:

    He already did all the Rage albums.

  • Moonchild1084 says:

    That was total­ly awe­some watch­ing that video. It reminds me of the excite­ment I felt when I first start­ed lis­ten­ing to met­al and rap when I was in mid­dle school. Being my an 80s baby and a child of the 90s myself I can total­ly relate to every­thing you described about the decade of the 90s. Read­ing this made me miss those days. But hey I still have all my favorite music from then that I lis­ten to pret­ty much dai­ly. I also found a new YouTu­ber I will be sub­scrib­ing too. I got excit­ed watch­ing him get pumped up by such an awe­some band like Rage and being I’m a huge met­al head myself I have quite a few sug­ges­tions for him. I won­der if he has heard Slip­knot’s old­er stuff espe­cial­ly there first album. I have a feel­ing he may like “Spit It out”.

  • Barry Lam says:

    This is delight­ful Josh, so hap­py you shared this. I’d love mil­len­ni­al to dis­cov­er Rage. Excuse while I go down Rodeo with my shot­gun.

  • Rogier van Vugt says:

    At 1:04 in the ‘sleep now in the fire’ video is a man hold­ing up a sign ‘Trump for pres­i­dent’…
    Talk about prophet­ic.

  • Nancy says:

    Loved it. Laughed so hard!

  • Katy says:

    Dude has got to cov­er KMFDM! Dog­ma kicks some seri­ous ass!

  • True says:

    KMFDM is awe­some, for sure. That album (XTORT) in par­tic­u­lar… and Sym­bols and Nihil

  • Davey says:

    How 2018. Lols, this video has been out since last year. Get with it now.

  • Johan Engström says:


    Funkadel­ic — Mag­got brain album. I think you will love it.

  • Dale Berkebile says:

    Watch­ing you lis­ten to this album for the first time gave me the chills. If you do not get this reac­tion where it blows you mind then we prob­a­bly are not going to be good friends. It is such a pow­er­ful album and your response was PERFECT.

    This is a “move­ment”. It is “art”. It is some Pub­lic Ene­my type-shit. HA!

    You just made my day!

  • Eddie says:

    I love hon­est first impres­sions like this. Thanks for shar­ing!

  • Danny Meeker says:

    He’s lis­ten­ing to the debut album from Rage…I liked the Evil Empire LP more, though.

  • John Izzolino says:

    Yo… Zak DeLaRocha has a song w/ KRS‑1 that is 🔥🔥🔥🔥… If you like his lyrics, check it out

  • Jacob says:

    And I would like to add some cred­its to “Men­tal Floss For The Globe” from Urban Dance Squad, 1989. My first metal/rock/rap sen­sa­tion.

  • CLO says:

    Whoa.…watching him dis­cov­er­ing RATM took me back some. I first heard them back in ’93 on a col­lege sta­tion, WSOU, while dri­ving to a decent pay­ing cus­tomer ser­vice job for a Japan­ese copi­er machine com­pa­ny. Nice ben­e­fits, bonus­es, and every­thing. With­in three years I had quit with bare­ly a week’s notice and went to grad school for the­atre. I’m not say­ing Rage was the rea­son, but I believe them to be a con­tribut­ing fac­tor.

  • Chris McKenzie says:

    It’s called Punk Rock Not met­al! If you like Rage you should love the Bad Brains!

  • Tammie Parrish says:

    I just hap­pened upon this. I’m a Led Zep­pelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC etc… fan so I just got turned on to this myself as I watched this guy dig­gin it hard. I got­ta say, I enjoyed it just as much! I’m gonna lis­ten to the whole CD! I thor­ough­ly enjoyed see­ing him total­ly eat­ing it up!

  • Andy “Poppa Bear” says:

    Watch­ing your reac­tions to hear­ing Rage for the first time made me want to share this music with my own chil­dren. I grew up in the late 70’s and ear­ly 80’s and lived with the music. I can recall hear­ing some of the bands that have been ref­er­enced in the com­ments above for the first time while dri­ving as well. I’m not sure that my reac­tion was near as good as his though. I thought the lyrics remind­ed me of PE as he men­tioned, but also gave me the NWA vibe as well.
    I will be look­ing for more of his videos so I can see what else I need to turn my kids onto as well. Songs that I know, that my kids may have nev­er expe­ri­enced as of yet. Mad respect to you for shar­ing this video with me!
    Again just think­ing about this … I am now recall­ing that first week­end that MTV went live on cable for the first time! A cou­ple of us gath­ered in a buddy’s house and stayed there from Fri­day after­noon until we had to leave for school Mon­day morn­ing. Ahhh, the music has nev­er been the same after that first week­end! Back when MTV was actu­al­ly Music Tele­vi­sion .… how I miss those days!

  • Seahawk says:

    What a joy that was. I felt the exact same way when I first heard it.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.