Prophets of Rage Seamlessly Inject Hip Hop Into A Heavy Metal Setting REVIEW+PHOTOS: PROPHETS OF RAGE @ OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST 11/4/17
San Bernardino, CA- When it comes to music and politics- given the current political climate- if there’s one thing that I want to endure during the next three years (hopefully) is that Prophets of Rage keep on raging. A supergroup featuring members of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave (Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk), Public Enemy (Chuck D and DJ Lord) and Cypress Hill (B-Real), their music, for the most part, draws inspiration from the political and social bent of their prior bands and spit and play with the same inspired fire. I’ll have to admit that B-Real always seemed to be the outlier of this group to me insofar as Cypress Hill’s catalog is more known for smoking weed than disrupting the political status quo, but his distinct nasal vocal delivery definitely gives the Prophets sound a unique edge.
Their performance featured a handful of songs from their debut album including the singles “Hail To The Chief” and “Unfuck The World”, but it was mostly a collection of songs pulled from the Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill repertoires. There was a fitting tribute to Chris Cornell when Tom covered Chris’ vocals with his electric guitar on Audioslave’s “Like A Stone.” With the absence of a vocalist, the audience stepped up and sang along to the instrumental version being played up front. It was a very touching moment.
But putting the performance aside, what I found particularly interesting was that here I was at what is globally known as an upper echelon heavy metal festival, and rap music … CLASSIC hip hop … was featured on the main stage. Yeah, Tom can definitely shred with the best of him, but watching the same crowd who were earlier throwing up devil’s horns while relentlessly head-banging to Children of Bodom and Orange Goblin earlier in the day bounce along to “Jump Around” (a House of Pain cover) and “Can’t Truss It” was a little surreal.
Perhaps it was the sentiment of the music. Perhaps it was the notions of the common people’s struggle and protest that riled up a communal bowl of sentiment shared by both head bangers and hip hop heads alike. An everyday rage for everyday folk, delivered with an aggressive ferocity, that shines a light on the outrage of the many.