Album: Rage Against The Machine (1992)
Charted: 37
Play Video


  • Inspired by Rage's political viewpoints, this song's main theme is about general authoritative oppression, ranging from landlords and power whores, to "democratic" authorities. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tim - Pittsburgh, PA
  • The song refers to Rage's political views regarding the revolutionary war against the oppressive US government officials and the leader of the Shining Path organization in Peru, Abimael Guzman. Guzman was imprisoned and the song reflects on the moral wrongs on how the Peruvian natives have been treated. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jacob - Harrison, NY

Comments: 16

  • Fart Spray from Humid Hell, OklahomaI don't even know man. I just use RATM when I'm drunk or when I'm working out haha. Or if i feel like a bad ass driving to school. So I don't really pay too much attention to the lyrics but I hope they weren't talking about burning the American flag.
  • Sam from I'm Not Telling YouAl, just because you wanna be some private eye you haven't done your research man. R.A.T.M. are against oppression of any kind and the music video tackles three problems.
    1. The oppression towards Native Americans
    2. The Oppression of Peruvians
    3. Shining Path
    Need I say more?
  • Chris from Windsor Locks, CtAl, RATM isn't supporting Shining Path in Peru. They are criticising the oppressive goverment and Shining Path. Also, its hard to criticise other people for being unintelligent when you cant even spell it right yourself.
  • Al from Philadelphia, Pafunny how ratm seems to only rant about the oppressive goverment in peru and completely ignores the fact that the shining path was responsible for the brutal,sadistic murder and torture of tens of thousands of peruvians.
    ratm are some of the biggest hypocrites in american media, claiming to be against propaganda while every one of their "songs" meets the definition of propaganda 100%. supporting murderers and thugs and criticising goverment. yep real inteligent.....
  • Kyle from George Town, Cayman IslandsThis song was on matrix released at of the movie
  • Lee from Milwaukee, WiEric from CT is right on in my opinion
  • Lee from Milwaukee, Afghanistani dont think this song is strictly about the shinning path and the rebbillions in peru even though that is what the video focuses on but i think it is more about oppression in general and how everyone who abuses their own athurity will eventually pay and also how zack is going to bring these isues to everyones attention
  • Jacob from Rocky Mount, NcCool song. I find not to many bands can, in my opinion, pull off Rap-Metal without producing the same music everytime. Every song on this album is different in mood and music. The only song I don't like on it is Settle For Nothing, it is a little wierd. Cool, but wierd and I don't get it.
  • Talha from Lahore, Pakistanit's by far the best rap-metal song i've ever heard ,the 1st one i heard of their's was "wake up" ,but this 1's got such a "funky-killer-slow-groove" 2 it,Zack just floats and chants like a snake charmer, and they finish it up with a real hard-rockin groove
  • Reuben from Amsterdam, NetherlandsWhen I heard this song for the first time, when it was issued here, I was pleasantly shocked. It is so agressive, attractive and uneasy at the same time.
  • Tom from Erie, PaThe music video for this song focuses on the US backed regime of President Alberto Fujimori who slaughtered and oppressed thousands of Peruvians and it also focuses on the Shining Path maoist movement of Peru which was fighting against the rule of Fujimori by the means of guerilla warfare.
  • Tom from Maidstone, EnglandA "bombtrack" is a piece of music which starts out with a low rumble and explodes into the intro or first verse with increased volume. And this song has one :)
  • Eric from Barkhamsted, CtZack starts by saying "just another bomb track", meaning that such songs with the same message have been sung before. On the other hand, "suckers be thinking that they can fade this, but i'm a drop it at a higher level", which means that although such messages have been preached, Zack's gonna tell it a different way and in such a way that everyone hears. He'll even "stoop down" to their level if he has to. He tells of how businesses "burned us" and how news has lied to us (Americans). The landlord's and powerwhores symbolizes those who will stop at nothing to get to the top. The chorus, with "burn, burn, yes, ya gonna burn" is a symbol of what is going to happen to these "landlord's and powerwhores". Perhaps, not that they would burn here, but perhaps after death in judgement. The other verses reitterate what Zack already stated in the first verse.
    - Eric, CT
  • Anon. from Twin Cities, Mnone of the best intros i have ever heard
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandPeople can put songs they like in films
  • John from Glasgow, Scotlandi thought this song was more about the revolutions in peru, since thats in the video "the shining path"
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

British Invasion

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.