During the 2016 Presidental Election, Tom Morello — known as the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave — saw a headline that read: “Donald Trump Rages Against the Machine.”
“I said, ‘That’s not exactly what we had in mind,'” Morello tells Billboard about the use of his band’s name. “I thought, ‘I’m so angry about this, I’m going to tweet about it.’ And then I sent that tweet and I felt smug for about 15 seconds and I thought this isn’t enough. This is not a #revolution that we need. So I got on the phone and said, ‘I need to bring out the big guns.'”
Morello called upon Cypress Hill and Public Enemy because they were the “two biggest hip hop influences on Rage Against the Machine.” “We went to the people that do it the best, and know how to rock, and do it with the kind of authority and gravitas and brilliant lyrics and passionate delivery that was going to get that message across,” he explains.
Prophets of Rage is the ultimate super group consisting of Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, Public Enemy members DJ Lord and Chuck D, and Cypress Hill frontman B-Real. The band takes their name from the Public Enemy song of the same name. In fact, “Prophets of Rage” is the first song that the band “rage-ified,” taking the lyrics from the original track and rewriting the music around it. And thus, Prophets of Rage was born.
“We want to be the soundtrack for the resistance,” Morello explains. Watch the full breakdown of how the band got together in the video above.