Consisting of three former Rage Against the Machine members (guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk), two members of Public Enemy (rapper Chuck D and DJ Lord), and one member of Cypress Hill (rapper B-Real), Prophets of Rage is a combination of talents that culminates to stand defiant in the face of Trump’s America, as well as fight against the problems that have plagued this nation for years past.
Now more than ever, our country needs a band like Prophets of Rage – a band that openly advocates for social and political justice, without restraint. “Unfuck the World” is a cleverly crafted political statement, a true eye opener to the corrupt powers of government and big business. Directed by filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, the music video perfectly encapsulates the themes in the song.
In the opening scene of the video, sirens blare as colorless images of people looking for shelter from war appear, demonstrating how the nation is currently in a state of distress. From that point on, the video tackles any issue you can think of – Trump and his administration, police brutality, racism and white supremacists, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia, pharmaceutical companies, organized religion, military-industrial complexes…you get the idea. It boils down to taking a stand, instead of hiding and avoiding these constant waves of injustices.
The imagery intensifies as the video continues. One of the most profound visuals is that of a meat grinder. This meat grinder is fed symbols of healthcare/pharmaceuticals, oil and coal, education, religion, toxic water, guns, the preamble to the constitution, and money. The symbols represent bigger issues within the unequal American system, like how school districts with certain demographics are given less city, state, and/or federal funding than others or how politicians use religion to limit certain groups of people’s healthcare rights.
Once these images are smashed together, American flag hot dogs are spat out with bugged-out eyes, hypnotized with blind obedience. The hotdog jabs at the unethical and often-unhealthy meat industry practices, while likening Americans to mindless entities that just do what the person in front of them is doing.
Throughout the music video, Prophets of Rage align images of Confederate flags, alt-right leader Richard Spencer, and racial profiling by police officers with the lyrics “fuck racists.” More ambiguous lyric “blank faces” is addressed to the entire American population. With several possible interpretations, the one I felt fits best is that “blank faces” likens us to blank canvases that politicians and certain news outlets paint on and mold to create puppets that unconditionally support their views.
With America in the Trump age and Great Britain’s Brexit, this country and world have experienced a complete switch from what Obama’s administration represented. The lyric “time’s changin’” references the drastic and dangerous changes that Trump represents. Protests on both sides of the political spectrum have America (and the entire world) looking more like 1968 than 2017. It is a tumultuous point in history.
Prophets of Rage wants the country to come together to fight for justice and equality, instead of remaining the divided and nation it is. As presented in the music video, the line “unification” displays images of armies controlled by totalitarian governments. This unification through war and the military-industrial complex is the opposite of what Prophets of Rage desires. Like the hot dog metaphor, “unification” coincides with the processing of meat in which we are the meat products being mixed together to form an unnerving piece of capitalistic protein.
With “Unfuck the World,” Prophets of Rage urges the listener to end this cycle and rather than “pledge allegiance to the evil,” challenge the evil powers at be. Prophets of Rage leaves the choice up to the listener.