Way back in November of 1999 the band Rage Against The Machine released their album ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’, an album which carried the track ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’, quite possibly one of the best songs ever produced to listen to while lifting and/or doing cardio. The money shot you’re looking for in this video is at the 1min04sec mark, and we’ll get to talking about why this is significant down below.
It’s been a solid sixteen years since Rage Against The Machine blessed the world with ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’, a song whose music video was nominated in the year 2000 for ‘Best Rock Video’ at the MTV Video Music Awards, back when MTV Awards shows used to not be complete piles of dog shit. That year ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’ lost out to Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I’m merely here to discuss how fucking remarkable it is that way back in 1999 Detroit Red Wings fan Tom Morello collaborated with political director Michael Moore, and they put together a music video predicting a Donald Trump U.S. Presidential campaign that, a prophecy that would later come to fruition in 2015, a full sixteen years after this music video was filmed.
Here’s a little background info on Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’ track (according to Wiki):
The song contains lyrics about greed, such as the conquest of Native Americans, Christopher Columbus’ voyage by Niña, the Pinta, and Santa Maria and U.S. slavery in the 19th century as well as criticism of actions taken by the U.S. government in wartime, including the bombing of Hiroshima and the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.
The music video for the song which was directed by Michael Moore with cinematography by Welles Hackett, features the band playing in front of the New York Stock Exchange, intercut with scenes from a satire of the popular television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? which is named “Who Wants to Be Filthy F#&%ing Rich”. Quoted at the end of the song is Republican politician Gary Bauer stating that, “a band called ‘The Machine Rages On’ – er – ‘Rage Against the Machine’, that band is anti-family and it’s pro-terrorist”, following an incident outside of fellow Republican Alan Keyes’ 2000 primary campaign town hall event, where Keyes jumped into a mosh pit formed while Rage Against the Machine was playing. Actor Garrett Wang is briefly seen in the video enjoying the music.
The shoot for the music video on January 26, 1999, caused the doors of the New York Stock Exchange to be closed. In fact, the Stock Exchange locked its doors mid-day in response to fears of crowds gathering to watch the filming. This was not recorded as a closure as trading on the exchange floor continued uninterrupted.
“We decided to shoot this video in the belly of the beast”, said Moore, who was detained by police for an hour and threatened with arrest during the shooting of the video, as Moore had a permit to film on the steps of City Hall but not in the surrounding street. The band was escorted from the site by security, after band members attempted to gain entry into the Exchange.
Now that you know the history of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’, and you’ve seen someone with a ‘Donald Trump For President’ sign in the music video, I want to know your guesses on how long until people start showing up at Trump rallies with Rage Against The Machine signs OR how long until The Donald gets wind of his appearance in the 1999 music video and starts using this song as his political rallies just to piss off Michael Moore and Tom Morello? Answers down below in the comments!
Tip of the hat to this screengrab on Imgur for reminding the world about all of this!