Guerrilla Radio is a song that talks about the 2000 presidential election. It makes reference to both candidates and is not as subtle about it. Rage Against the Machine is known for being upfront about their opinions about different situations. These attacks on both candidates as well as the media who covered the election can be seen through the lyrics

“Yes, a spectacle monopolized
They hold the reins, stole your eyes
All the Fist-a-gons, the bullets, and bombs
Who stuff the banks, who staff the party ranks
More for Gore or the son of a drug lord
None of the above. F*** it, cut the cord!”

The first lines are critiquing the way the media has a monopoly over what the viewers see and learn about each candidate. They only show what they feel is necessary in order for the public to make an opinion of the candidates. Rage also talks about the fact that if the media companies are being paid more, they will favor one candidate over another. By this, they mean that if one campaign party pays more, they would make sure to show the best side of that candidate.

The lines that reference Al Gore and George Bush are more of an attack on Bush than Al Gore. In the lyrics, Zach De La Rocha mentions George Bush as the son of a drug lord. This reference is to the rumors that during George Bush Sr.’s The CIA was supplying drugs to inner-city areas. Although this may be subtle and missed by some listeners it is upfront for those people who know the rumors. Rage Against the Machine makes critiques to the general idea of democracy and how people do not really understand their ability to have a “choice” because they are only able to have a small glimpse of the candidates who are running. These critiques can be seen in the lyrics:

“As the polls close like a casket, on truth devoured
A silent play on the shadow of power
A spectacle monopolized
The cameras eyes on choice disguised”

The lines are subtle hints to the fact that democracy is being controlled and not really allowing people to have the choice that they may think they have. It is subtle in the lyrics that this is the overall idea and critique of the government. Due to this the idea may be lost to most of the audience and becomes a regular metal song instead of a protest song. As I mentioned before the band Rage takes the opportunity in their songs to talk about different social issues whether they see fit. Along with that they also take opportunities to have lyrics that sound like a call to arms, I have mentioned these instances in prior posts these include the verses:

“Lights out! Guerrilla radio!
Turn that sh*t up!
Lights out! Guerrilla radio!
Turn that Sh*t up!
Lights out! Guerrilla radio!
Turn that sh*t up!
Lights out! Guerrilla radio!”

These lyrics are a combination of both upfront attacks against the social situations of the time as well as subtle jabs and references. Like most of their other songs, it seems to be the theme of the band to take to music as their weapons against the wrongdoings of society.