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Music

Is a Rage Against the Machine reunion upon us?

Rage Against the Machine
Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello, right, of Rage Against the Machine headline the LA Rising concert on July 30, 2011.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Is Rage Against the Machine plotting a comeback? That’s the question fans are asking after discovering a series of Internet breadcrumbs left by the political L.A. band.

Early Tuesday the band took to its official Twitter to send out a link to ProphetsofRage.com along with the hashtag #TakeThePowerBack.

The cryptic site features a countdown clock that expires on June 1, and has largely been down early Wednesday because of heavy traffic. 

https://twitter.com/RATM/status/732620581116469249


Accompanying the timer is an image of a broken slash through a red circle with silhouettes of five people, each extending their arms with clenched fists. 

Visitors of the site are prompted to enter their email address. They will then receive a blast labeled “Clear the Way” with a poster featuring the aforementioned image as well as the phrase“Clear the way for the prophets of rage” and the tagline “The party’s over.” Summer 2016 is teased above the #TakeThePowerBack slogan. 

https://twitter.com/Girlinsocal/status/731244347622981633

Then things get more interesting. 

The hashtag, as fans know, is a track from Rage’s self-titled debut released in 1992. And coincidentally, the band’s original demo tape — which they sold at their early shows before snagging a record deal — will be 25 years old this year. (“Take the Power Back” and a handful of other tracks made their studio debut the following year.) 

But the site’s name and that “clear the way for the prophets of rage” line are tied to another politically charged group, Public Enemy. 

That “clear the way” line is a lyric from Public Enemy’s track “Prophets of Rage,” which has lead to rampant speculation that the cryptic site is a teaser for a joint tour between Rage Against the Machine and the pioneering Long Island hip-hop group. 

Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has gotten in on the foreshadowing, too, tweeting out videos of Rage performing in 2010, without adding comment. 

https://twitter.com/MrChuckD/status/732667852986056704

The teasing appeared to start before the site’s launch, with Twitter users posting images of a posters featuring the website and the new logo  last week. 

A Rage Against the Machine reunion would be the first time the band performed in five years. (Its last album was 2000’s “Renegades.”) And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, seeing as how we are in the middle of a chaotic, hotly contested presidential election. 

In the spirit of irony, here’s Rage’s 1999 video for “Sleep Now in the Fire.” Directed by Michael Moore, it depicts a money driven world where Donald Trump would be a favored candidate for president: 

Rage Against The Machine's official music video for "Sleep Now in the Fire."

gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com
 

Follow me on Twitter @gerrickkennedy


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