Born Of A Broken Man

Album: The Battle Of Los Angeles (1999)
Play Video


  • This is a very personal song that Zack De La Rocha wrote about his father. Zack's father, Beto De La Rocha, divorced Zack's mom Olivia when Zack was very young. Beto was a member of Los Four, a very influential group of four Chicano artists. Beto had a mental breakdown and became despondent and hyper-religious, locking himself in a dark room alone until the police finally came to take him away. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tim - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Rage Against the Machine gave this its first live outing on July 24, 1999 at Woodstock '99. They continued to perform it in concert until their September 3, 2008 show at Target Center Minneapolis. The band then shelved "Born Of A Broken Man" for 14 years until they dusted it down and played it during their July 27, 2022 gig at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena.

Comments: 11

  • Peter from PortlandI thought the intro was an homage to Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed”
  • Cass from AustraliaI think in some parts it sounds like right here right now- jesus jones
  • Dan from Syracuse, NyChris, I know Morello is admittedly a big Zeppelin fan, but I think calling the opening riff of this song a redeux of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" is quite a stretch...
  • Chris from New York, NyThe opening guitar riff is a "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin redeux...
  • Rafael from San Juan , Puerto RicoThere is one part of the song where the lyrics repeat the first verse, but instead of saying loss like the first time, zach mentions laos. Since this is a personal song to zach, is it possible that his father was involved with the Vietnam war and puts the blame for his fathers actions on the war?
  • Craig from Elgin, United KingdomThis song makes refferances to jesus because from what i heard, his father had a mental breakdown and took his religious beliefs to the extreme and destroyed his paintings
  • Austin from Smallsville, NeVery good song. I thought it was about the death of Jesus though.
  • Stewie from St.john's, CanadaWell, I consider myself lucky to own a copy of The Battle of Mexico City, because it has Born of a Broken Man on it, and I love it!
  • Steven from Waldwick, NjI heard that this song has only been performed a couple times live because it was too personal to Zach
  • Jake from Scottsdale, Azive also heard that Zach's father used to force Zach to pray kneeling down in a dark room for days at a time without food or water.
  • James from Australia, the best place to find out anything about zack or ratm it has really good song interpretations and there are people there that know so much about ratm and zack its not funny
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Chris Fehn of Slipknot

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Janis Ian

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Pam Tillis

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.