Prophets Of Rage Photo Event At Amoeba, Thursday September 21st 2017
Prophets of Rage was having a special event at Amoeba for the release of their new self-titled album, and it was a bit special. Bands are usually just doing a signing after a performance, but this time it was a meet and greet with photos taken by a professional photographer. I wasn’t sure I could make it, however the event hadn’t miraculously sold out when I arrived at Amoeba around 6 pm, coming straight from work.
What’s the point of a meet and greet? Spending a few seconds with a rockstar, and in this case, several rockstarS, plus having a photo taken to preserve the memory forever? And of course it meant paying for it, but in the case of Prophets of Rage, some of the money was donated to Hollywood’s Covenant House in Hollywood to further their work with homeless and trafficked youth, so it was basically doing a good thing while having fun.
I used to be very impressed before meeting celebrities, or should I say before meeting celebrities who matter to me, because I couldn’t care less when I saw Kim Kardashian in flesh at a release record party. But yeah, legends like Chuck D and Tom Morello, bands like Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and Rage Against the Machine together… This was impressive and almost intimidating, although I can tell you that Chuck D and Tom, as well as all the other POR members, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, DJ Lord and B-Real, give the warmest handshakes ever. They also did pay attention to people, I could tell, and even though there were hundreds of fans on line, the 6 Prophets took the pause for hundreds of photo-ops with the same genuine and friendly attitude.
I don’t care if people find meet and greet cheesy, childish or too fanatic, I love these kinds of events, because meeting icons and legends is never a waste of time, and I don’t even like looking at myself in photo! People on line were coming from all horizons, they were of all colors and shapes, and obviously were wearing a lot of Public Enemy-Rage shirts, and no, I was not the only woman there, not at all! So I paused with the 6 Prophets with my fist in the air, in front of their artwork by their number 1 fan, Shepard Fairey.
I also don’t care about condescending reviews of their album, stupid Pitchfork gave them a 4.6 (ouch!) and dared to call them ‘relics of a previous revolution copy-and-pasted onto the current one’. And even though it were true, who else is there when the resistance is more than ever needed? Who else still dare to sing political lines these days beside a few rappers? Who else dare to rage about unglamorous and forgotten themes like poverty and homelessness? Who else is caring about the forgotten? Who else is stealing the red cap from the most idiotic and unbearable presidential campaign ever? Who else is still enraged? Who else is writing a song about a collapsing society which ignores men sharing a tent under the 110 Freeway? Nobody, so I don’t get why Chuck D rapping lines like ‘Poverty hit home like a war zone’ on explosive RATM-like razor-edge guitars is regarded as opportunistic in 2017. Sure there’s nothing new, they are still raging against the same old themes, but it says much more about our society than about Chuck D and Tom Morello’s supposed opportunism.
The atmosphere at Amoeba was filled with love for the Prophets, but the album is as aggressive as you would expect from these militant veterans whose songs have always been woven with politics and social consciousness. So I don’t care what the millennial generation thinks, it’s still extremely important and urgent to punch a nazi in the face.