Think of any nu metal or rap metal band from the late 90s or early 2000s. Limp Bizkit, Hed PE, Linkin Park, Crazy Town, P.O.D., just for examples. I would almost bet that each and every artist you could think of would list Rage Against The Machine as one of their main influences. What if, however, Rage Against The Machine never actually had any success as a band? Would the influence from bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, Living Colour and Biohazard be enough to leave the rap metal and nu metal landscapes unchanged? Hard to imagine it would—RATM really had their own style that kicked it up a notch from their musical colleagues.
RATM really only lasted for about a decade, but their impact on the music world was pretty huge. Would the world be able to laugh at Limp Bizkit and Fred Durst year after year without RATM’s influence? Probably not. Would anyone have been Crazy Town’s butterfly, baby? Let’s hope not. Somewhat unfortunately, bands that followed RATM musically didn’t so much follow them lyrically, nor did they pick up on their fashion sense. Backwards caps, tripp pants, spiked hair, etc. would probably all still have existed—Rage Against The Machine didn’t roll with that.
Lyrically, however, there is a major disconnect between Rage Against The Machine and other bands who would be a logical musical descendants. These bands, like Korn for example, had a different approach. Instead of raging about the government and how messed up the world was (the United States especially), they mostly connected with family life, being an outcast, etc. Perhaps it was the lack of major political movements or the fact that life was pretty great for the US in the mid to late ’90s (comparatively). Maybe it was just another rebellion by the youth. After all, who wants to be just like their predecessors? Seems to be the way of the world, generation after generation.
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