The song "Rattle the Cage" was released on November 8, 2016, coinciding with a presidential election that had polarized the United States. Although the song's origin is "really mundane," stemming from violist Mackenzie Gault telling her dogs to calm down in their crates, emcee Jonny 5 explained to Songfacts how the phrase "don't rattle the cage" took on a deeper meaning as the song took shape.
"[Mackenzie] didn't know exactly what those words could mean beyond that moment, but looking at the song, it just felt like the way we're stuck in our little filter bubbles on the internet and we vilify one another in this way that's almost like a mirror image of the other person. On the internet, it's so easy to become so afraid of each other and so angry at each other, and so separated from each other that you make the other person into this caricature, into a monster. At the same time, you're being made into a monster, and at some point you want to break free of all that.
So the song is about trying to find, hopefully, some commonality in our own distortions, our own ways that we pigeonhole each other and distort one another and make each other into monsters, while at the same time we don't want to be made into a monster. There's something in common there. Maybe it's that we have some common fears, even if they're mirror images of one another. The hope is that if we at least recognize that, we can have a starting point." (Here's the full interview with Jonny 5