Album: Rage Against The Machine (1992)
Play Video
  • Come on!

    Come on, although ya try to discredit
    Ya still never edit
    The needle, I'll thread it
    Radically poetic
    Standin' with the fury that they had in '66
    And like E-Double I'm mad
    Still knee-deep in the system's shit
    Hoover, he was a body remover
    I'll give ya a dose
    But it'll never come close
    To the rage built up inside of me
    Fist in the air, in the Land of Hypocrisy

    Movements come and movements go
    Leaders speak, movements cease
    When their heads are flown
    Cause all these punks
    Got bullets in their heads
    Departments of police, the judges, the feds
    Networks at work, keepin' people calm
    You know they went after King
    When he spoke out on Vietnam
    He turned the power to the have-nots
    And then came the shot

    Yeah, back in this
    Wit' poetry, my mind I flex
    Flip like Wilson, vocals never lackin' dat finesse
    Whadda I got to, whadda I got to do to wake ya up
    To shake ya up, to break the structure up
    Cause blood still flows in the gutter
    I'm like takin' photos
    Mad boy kicks open the shutter
    Set the groove
    Then stick and move like I was Cassius
    Rep the stutter step
    Then bomb a left upon the fascists
    Yea, the several federal men
    Who pulled schemes on the dream
    And put it to an end
    Ya better beware
    Of retribution with mind war
    20/20 visions and murals with metaphors
    Networks at work, keepin' people calm
    Ya know they murdered X
    And tried to blame it on Islam
    He turned the power to the have-nots
    And then came the shot

    What was the price on his head?
    What was the price on his head!

    I think I heard a shot
    I think I heard a shot
    I think I heard a shot
    I think I heard a shot
    I think I heard a shot
    I think I heard, I think I heard a shot

    He may be a real contender for this position should he
    Abandon his supposed obedience to white liberal doctrine
    Of non-violence and embrace black nationalism'
    Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to
    Pinpoint potential trouble-makers and neutralize them,
    Neutralize them, neutralize them'

    Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
    Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

    How long? Not long, cause what you reap is what you sow Writer/s: BRAD WILK, TIM COMMERFORD, TOM MORELLO, ZACH DE LA ROCHA
    Publisher: Wixen Music Publishing
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 25

  • Gregthe opening riff was 100000% inspired by Kashmire. The idea is essentially the same. The odd part is Zeppelin being referenced, rather than the band they stole it from in the 70s haha. I dont know who it was, but they were notorious for doing that.
  • Matt from HoustonFarrakhan played footsies with the CIA against X and they both got what they wanted, and all we got 2020 visions and murals with metaphors.
  • Shawn from Green Bay WiGreat song immortalized by one of the most epic movie endings of all time, where it fits perfectly.
    "they murdered X and then blamed it on Islam"... Wrong. The Islamic Brotherhood DID murder X. Ironically, he said himself that the Brotherhood was going to murder him in his biography. I'm sure RATM was aware of this, but you know, never let the TRUTH get in the way of a good rage.
  • Lilyibanez from Los Angeles, Cathis is a very powerful song and i think it conveys the meaning very well, the beginning and ending riffs especially help that. one of rage's most genious songs.
  • Jack from Cleveland, OhThe quotation near the end of the song is taken from an internal Cointelpro memorandum. The line preceding the first quote is:
    "Malcolm X might have been such a 'messiah;' he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age."

    The full line for the second quote is:
    "it should also be a goal of the counterintelligence Program to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they
    exercise their potential for violence." The memorandum is dated March 4, 1968.
  • Joey from North Barrington, IlRegardless of where the riff came from, the overall song message is to Wake Up and realize what the government is doing instead of being complacent and assuming the government is always right.
  • Mike from Selden, Nydozens of songs have used the same sequence of chords, the fact that these two songs share a chord progression does not in any way suggest that one riff was taken from the other
  • Jason from Chatham, NjThe guitar in Kashmir actually doesn't climb, that's the string arrangement. The opening guitar riffs' rhythms are very similar, and the basic 2 & 4 drum beat, tempo, and key are all the same. That being said I like both songs. I don't understand how you can be so hard-headed about saying there's not even a similarity.
  • Chris from Las Vegas, United StatesI saw them perform this song live at Coachella in April of this year. During the guitar break, Zach went into a 7 minute tirade against The current government administration and compared those in office now to Nazi war criminals. And just as those Nazi war criminals were executed for their crimes, so should those in office like Bush, Cheney, etc. The crowd lost it's mind as he spoke those words.....Best concert ever!!
  • Spog Zallagi from Blue Hill, MeLOL. "Wake up" for alarm.
  • John Smith from Southington, CtI use the last part of the song where Zack screems "WAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUPPP!!!!" a lot for my alarm clock.
  • Ian from San Diego, CaThere are no similarities between Kashmir and Wake Up.
    The only distinctive one is the Key of D. But if that's taking a riff from Led Zeppelin then you'd have to call every metal band out for using similar riffs that Black Sabbath invented.
    The riff to Wake Up is pure Morello chug. No Page influence what-so-ever.
  • Anon. from Twin Cities, MnActually Tom, just about everything about the riff from Wake Up is different from Kashmir except for the pitch (both start on a D power chord, though the sepearte tremolo from Wake Up changes it a bit). I've never seen a source that documents morello himself talking about the influence from kashmir.
  • Mike from Kitchener, CanadaNot the same as Kashmir but inspired by it. Very good political song one of my favs from RATM
  • Will from Ballarat, Australiaits similiar, but not exactly teh same. certainly inspired by kashmir.
  • Tom from Northport, Nythe riff is exactltly the same as kashmir just played with a little higher notes
  • Jorge from Codoba, South AmericaThe Riff is not like kashmir from led zepplin
  • Kieran from Essex, EnglandEvan, the riff is exactly like Kashmir
  • Evan from Birmingham, Althe riff is nothing like kashmir
  • Kieran from Essex, Englanddefinatly rage's best song, really makes you question the power of the government
  • Rudi from Newtown, PaThe guitar riff wasn't taken from Kashmir. The first two chords are the same but don't even have the same rhythm. The Wake Up Riff goes back and forth between those two chords, whereas the Kashmir riff continues to climb the scale and then repeats.
  • Jarred from Narre Warren, Victoria, AustraliaGreat song, is also played on Godzilla and is sometimes featured in the background of Sports Tonight on channel 10 in Australia... Very famous and powerful...
  • Amitai from Staten Island, NyThe guitar riif was taken from Led Zeppelin's Kashmir
  • Brendan from Waitara, New Zealandthis song's at the end of the Matrix
  • John from Glasgow, Scotlandmy favourite song from rage, very powerful too.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jimmy Jam

Jimmy JamSongwriter Interviews

The powerhouse producer behind Janet Jackson's hits talks about his Boyz II Men ballads and regrouping The Time.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest

Rob Halford of Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford dives into some of his Judas Priest lyrics, talking about his most personal songs and the message behind "You've Got Another Thing Comin'."

Todd Rundgren

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 Hits

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.