There are few releases these days that can stir up feelings of excitement and hope for the future of music or the music industry. There are even fewer new releases that I consider exceptional and will find myself listening to multiple times over. With music being so much more accessible thanks to streaming services and the internet, it’s rare to lock into one release and spend an amount of quality time that ingrains the music into the listener until it becomes part of their DNA. Prophets Of Rage is a repudiation to that new trend of listen twice and move on. This album will continue to receive multiple plays for the foreseeable future and beyond.
Prophets of Rage is a supergroup blending Hip Hop and nu-metal that is changing the world of music by revisiting the past and injecting new rhythms into classic sounds. Tom Morello (Audioslave, Rage Against The Machine), Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine), Chuck D and DJ Lord (Public Enemy), and B-Real (Cypress Hill) have formed an incredible rap metal group that mixes both genres in a new and refreshing way while still remaining true to both styles of music. The band takes the best elements of both genres and blends them into a beautiful harmony of earful bliss.
Prophets Of Rage is the best mix of rap and rock since Anthrax and Public Enemy recorded “Bring The Noise.” Tom Morello’s guitar is front and center in the music. His unique style of guitar playing, which can’t be duplicated, sounds crisp and viable on Prophets Of Rage. His ability mixed with exceptional beats by Brad Wilk, amazing samples from DJ Lord, and powerful vocals from Chuck D alongside B-real makes for outstanding music. And while I feel the project might have been even more enjoyable with Flavor Flav in the mix, the message that is being delivered throughout these songs is done by the appropriate musicians. I love Flavor Flav, but he probably wasn’t right for this project.
The music is as hard and heavy as the message it delivers. “Unfuck The World” is a prime example. No hatred, fuck racists, blank faces, time’s changing, one nation, unification, the vibration, unfuck the world. A serious political statement that’s filled with hope, which is a rare accomplishment for any band. Most musicians who decide to infect their music with political statements miss the mark and try to sway the listener to their one-dimensional beliefs. Prophets of Rage is better than that. As heard on “Unfuck The World” the goal is unification. Can’t we find a way to unite the people once again? It’s a daring thought and in this modern age, it’s a welcome one.
Political statements are highlighted throughout the entire record. In most cases, I feel that musicians should never cross politics and music, they should entertain and enlighten but there is no need for a blatant placement of their political views inside of their music. There are rare exceptions that can pull this off without feeling preachy. U2 is one example. Rage Against The Machine and Public Enemy are two other examples. Both of those bands would create music that really made the listener think and wonder and understand the state of our nation with their music. Prophets of Rage understandably takes that ability and injects it into their self-titled debut release.
It’s great to have music that makes you feel alive return to the forefront. Expectations were high for this record but Prophets of Rage delivers and exceeds. And that’s understandable when there is such mega-talent as Chuck D and Tom Morello at the forefront of the album. Prophets Of Rage takes me back to a time in my life when the music just felt invigorating. As each song played out it was a joyous new discovery that couldn’t be compared with any other feeling. Prophets Of Rage brings that similar style of joy with each song unfolds.
There is no filler on this record. This self-titled debut from these masterminds of talent is a superb record that is worthy of multiple listens. Prophets Of Rage is available this Friday, September 15th. It would be in your best interest to pick up a copy of this album and let it wash all over you. I don’t know if there is going to be a better release this year.
Ryo’s Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Unfuck The World
Living on the 110
Hail To The Chief
Take Me Higher
Strength In Numbers
Fired A Shot
Who Owns Who
Prophets Of Rage
Tom Morello – Guitar
Brad Wilk – Beats
Chuck D – Vocals
B-Real – Vocals
DJ Lord – turntables