Rage Against the Machine See 62 Percent Streaming Spike Amid Protests
This year was supposed to mark the return of Rage Against the Machine, who announced a 2020 reunion tour late last year. While they remain on the sidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic, their music's message is still as impactful as ever, most recently experiencing a 62 percent spike in streams amid ongoing protests against police brutality and racial inequality. That number continues to climb.
Billboard reports that in the week which ended on June 11, Rage Against the Machine tallied 11.1 million on-demand streams in the United States. This was good enough for a 15 percent increase upon the previous week, which saw a whopping 62 percent surge for the week ending on June 4.
"Killing in the Name," which was written as a direct reaction to the infamous police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1992 that spurred riots in the California city, has been especially impactful at this time, earning a 14 percent jump in streams in that same recorded week.
Guitarist Tom Morello also appeared in Billboard's Social 50 ranking for the first time. This chart weighs social media networks and activity, which is then reflected in a power ranking. This can largely be attributed to Morello's actions on Twitter, as he's selectively called out fans who have only now just discovered that Rage Against the Machine have been a politically-charged group this whole time.
It was already clear that Rage Against the Machine's highly-political music was resonating deeply with the protest movements. Three of the band's album appeared on the iTunes Top Albums chart in mid-June — Rage Against the Machine (No. 8), Evil Empire (No. 35) and The Battle for Los Angeles (No. 41).
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