Here we have the debut album from Prophets of Rage, a rap rock supergroup compiling the instrumental genius of three of the guys from Rage Against The Machine, two members of Public Enemy and B-Real from Cypress Hill also jumping on the mic to bring us some refreshing, rebellious music hitting out at all the political grey areas and problems in today’s western society.
This is something that I didn’t think I would hear again once RATM had hung up their musical strings, but hearing that particular way of slamming a guitar that only Tom Morello can provide, it was a refreshing wave of both nostalgia and excitement to my ears. It will always be a shame that Zack De La Rocha is no longer composing or performing with the guys but this is still a nice second, almost like a recognition that the world still needs to hear from this perspective, with this particular sound and these topics being picked up and played for our entertainment, a need as appose to a want.
That being said, this album was missing some fire and ferocity that I now believe on Zack can provide, his ability to transfer his knowledge and passion through the speakers is incredible, although PoR were writing about subjects that he would definitely have words for it just didn’t hit home in the same way that he would have done it. It always seemed to me that he only wrote about subjects that really mattered to him, and because they mattered he studied and learnt everything there was to know about the subject, using his platform to educate rather than just put worthless words in your head. This level of intricate composing has been missed with the PoR album, it still has the style and passion that RATM always provided but seems to be lacking in the level of depth very few wordsmiths can provide, Zack being one of the key ones.
The songs they have released on this record still have your head nodding away to the beat, has a bit of flair from both Public Enemy and Cypress Hill tracks and has those very repetitive end of verses and choruses that will have everyone singing along by the end of the first listen to each track. Now this ability to consistently draw in the listener is something that they have not missed, you will be sat in your house, on your commute, or even stood in an arena seeing these songs live and will still have the sense of involvement they provide where you will be singing (or at least thinking very loudly if you’re on a train or something) along to each and every line, these songs are a voice to a movement not just a hit for the radio.
Although I mentioned the album is lacking Zack’s talent that isn’t to say it is bad in any sense of the word, I think with RATM we were shown a very unique genius, incredible sound mixed with the voice of a revolutionary leader, something that would be incredibly hard for anyone to live up to. That being said Public Enemy and Cypress Hill are two of the pillars of hip hop, at least in terms of laying the foundation for those that came after them, so to see these three elements of music combine to create Prophets of Rage I am more than happy with their opening gambit that is the self titled album and am really looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.
Check out the video below to their self titled song ‘Prophets of Rage’ off the debut album ‘Prophets of Rage’ by, you guessed it, Prophets of Rage!