Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' Was Originally Instrumental Track

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Tom Morello has revealed that Rage Against The Machine‘s politically-charged 1992 song "Killing In The Name," which has frequently been quoted during recent protests, began as an instrumental track. Morello said on Rolling Stone‘s Music Now podcast, "There's a Rage Against the Machine video from Cal State Northridge – which is our first public performance – where we open the show with an instrumental version of ‘Killing in the Name' and Timmy (Commerford, bassist), I think, came up with that really cool (bass riff). (Drummer Brad Wilk's) crowd-bouncing beat is there from the very, very beginning. And then Zack (de la Rocha, vocalist) laced it with the historic lyrics."

Morella added, "We actually left the lyrics off of the lyric sheet of the first record, because it's I think it's two lines, 16 ‘f**k yous', and one ‘motherf****r.' And we're like, in the midst of all this grand political poetry, let's just that one stand for itself."

"Killing In The Name" was featured on Rage Against The Machine's self-titled debut album.