Public Enemy “Power to the People” –> Rage Against the Machine “Guerrilla Radio” –> Prophets of Rage “Prophets of Rage”

I think that one of the main and easiest Lineages to see includes that which includes Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Prophets of Rage. The first two bands were able to speak on different issues that were presented in their society. Neither of these bands sugar coated what they were trying to say but their songs were filled with subtle critiques of bigger issues of government or societal issues. With albums like Fear the Black Planet and Battle of Los Angeles each band shows their protest against government power and offer critiques on how power is shifted and misused within the government. Public Enemy’s “Power to the People” discusses the issues of not being in control and the government system using the power against the people. This relates back to some of the ideas in Guerrilla Radio, the idea that government power is misused and creates an unequal opportunity for individuals within society. This is an important lineage because it was out of the protest lyrics that both Tom Morello and Zach De La Rocha related to that influenced their style of rap delivery. As Rage used a raping style similar to that of Public enemy there came a melding of both bands. Prophets of Rage is a creation and combination of both leaders of each band. The combination of Chuck D and Tom Morello along with other members it created a band that included all of the protest qualities of both groups. This created album filled within your face critiques of government, world, and at home societal issues. It also was able to re-ignite the rap style lyrics that were made famous by Zach. After he left Rage it was hard to continue without his influence on the band’s song. With songs likes “Prophets of Rage” you can see the ideas of both bands’ critiques of the modern world in one song. There is a strong sense of calling out the government for the misuse of power in politics and government systems. This lineage makes the most sense since on band once inspired by another and after each band seemed to be finished with their solo music careers it was interesting to see them join together.


Rage Against the Machine “Guerrilla Radio”–> J. Cole “ATM” –> Jay Z “Story of O.J.”

Even though these songs do not seem that they would not relate to each other they share similar ideas. Each song delves into some aspect of speaking about how money holds a lot of power over individual people and can create systematic oppression over groups of individuals or the individual themselves. Guerrilla Radio has some mention of how money can cause a gap between those who can use it to gain power and use it to their advantage. This is more of in a political sense however J. Cole’s “ATM” takes more of an individual perspective on how money can lead to the corruption of an individual to the point where that is all they are thinking about and see it as a way to gain power and status in today’s society. I think that each song shed light on the control money can have on an individual and that each may not have directly been in direct relation to each other but helped in showing that songs that spoke on this issue could be heard by a big audience. This can definitely be related back to the song of the “Story of O.J.” also shares in this idea that money can create gaps and oppress individual groups. In some of my research, I have found that this oppression can lead to the gap of power and make it hard for others to be able to relate to those who have always been in a position. It also makes it harder for those in power to understand and relate to those who have never been in that position. This leads to a divide and struggles for power. Each song can relate through the ideas that they are critiquing and talking about. These songs may seem far from related but when you look more in depth there can be ideas that relate to each other. There is another student who is using the “Story of O.J.” so I would be interested in seeing if his research or opinions are similar to my thinking.