Noname carries on Rage Against the Machine’s Legacy

“Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses”

Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine

These words delivered by Zach de la Rocha on the band’s 1992 classic, still ring true to many in today’s climate. Even if those protesting are not into or are simply unaware of the song, the ideology is evident in the protests that have taken place in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Whilst some looked down on the band previously as they were lumped with the nu-metal Lynx-rock of the likes of Limp Bizkit, history has been kind on them. The world we live in now makes that even more the case.

2020 was to be the year that Rage Against the Machine reunited for their first tour in years including a stop at Ireland’s very own Electric Picnic. If they still complete the tour after the epidemic has ended, it could be their biggest one ever due to the current climate.

One other difference between when the band first came out and now is that Covid-19 has also halted the production of a lot of new music that would be influenced by the political climate across the globe. Among the songs that have been released Noname’s Song 33 is a highpoint.

The short track was written in response to J. Cole’s new song Snow on tha Bluff. It not only rebukes Cole over a madlib beat for focusing on how people are conveying “wokeness” and their protests and for not focusing on the more important issues at hand, whilst also drawing attention back to the real matters at hand.

The chorus of “One girl missin’, another one go missin, One girl missin’, another”, is as honest and straight to the point as any Rage song or any protest music released in the last few years.

While’s Cole’s “Guardian opinion columnist” style of lyrics in his song was an easy target, Noname delivered the best possible response to it.

Focus on the real issues at hand, black people are dying in America, there’s bigger fish to fry.

Noname showcased just like Rage Against the Machine one of the key factors of political music. The issues at hand and the facts of the injustices that are occurring are the most important thing, not egos or personal feelings on the matter.

If she continues in this vein with future songs Noname could be just as, if not more, iconic than the band that highlighted social issues in the past themselves.

Peter O’Neill