Protest 100: Rage Against The Machine – ‘Down Rodeo’

Artist:          Rage Against The Machine

Song:           Down Rodeo

Album:        Evil Empire

Producer:    Brendan O’Brien

Label:          Epic

Year:           1996

Notes:
This song is steeped deep in the class inequalities bared by the 1992 riots in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles. The message: stop pointing your anger at each other, start pointing it at the people running the show. And don’t forget Black Panther Fred Hampton’s death at the hands of the FBI. Just a quiet peaceful dance!

Lyrics:
Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bangin’ this bolo tight on this solo flight can’t fight alone
Funk tha track my verbs fly like tha family stone
Tha pen devils set that stage for tha war at home
Locked wit out a wage ya standin’ in tha drop zone
The clockers born starin’ at an empty plate
Momma’s torn hands cover her sunken face
We hungry but them belly full
The structure is set ya neva change it with a ballot pull
In tha ruins there’s a network for tha toxic rock
School yard ta precinct, suburb ta project block
Bosses broke south for new flesh and a factory floor
The remains left chained to the powder war

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yes I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bare witness to tha sickest shot while suckas get romantic
They ain’t gonna send us campin’ like they did my man Fred Hampton
Still we lampin’ still clockin’ dirt for our sweat
A ballots dead so a bullet’s what I get
A thousand years they had tha tools
We should be takin’ ’em
Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em
Our target straight wit a room full of armed pawn to
Off tha kings out tha west side at dawn

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
Make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

The rungs torn from the ladder can’t reach the tumour
One god, one market, one truth, one consumer

Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!

Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we’ll never have
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we don’t have

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

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