Know Your Enemy
Rage Against the Machine Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Huh
Yeah, we're comin' back in with another bomb track
Think ya know what it's all about, huh
Ayo, so check this out, yeah

Know your enemy
Come on
Born with insight and a raised fist
A witness to the slit wrist, as we move into '92
Still in a room without a view
Ya got to know, ya got to know
That when I say go, go, go
Amp up and amplify, defy
I'm a brother with a furious mind
Action must be taken
We don't need the key, we'll break in

Something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
'Cause I'll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to rage against 'em
Fist in ya face in the place
And I'll drop the style clearly
Know your enemy
Know your enemy
Yeah

Ayo, get with this, uh
Word is born
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence
With the D the E the F the I the A the N the C the E
Mind of a revolutionary
So clear the lane
The finger to the land of the chains
What? "The land of the free"?
Whoever told you that is your enemy

Now something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
Cause I'll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to rage against 'em
Now action must be taken
We don't need the key, we'll break in

I've got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
I've got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
Sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of you
Time has come to pay
Know your enemy

Come on
Yes, I know my enemies
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams

All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams




All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of "Know Your Enemy" by Rage Against the Machine are deeply political and rebellious. The song starts with the band stating that they are coming back with another bomb track, implying that they are about to drop an explosive message on their listeners. They urge their listeners to know their enemy, perhaps referring to the oppressive government or societal norms that they are trying to defy.


The band uses powerful imagery in their lyrics, like the "raised fist" and references to "vengeance, a badge, and a gun". They emphasize the need for action to be taken, and that they will not wait for permission to do so. This rebellious and revolutionary attitude is also reflected in the reference to "the land of the free", which the band sees as a lie and a tool of oppression.


Towards the end of the song, the lyrics connect with the American dream and point out the hypocrisy and brutality that can be found within it. The repetition of this line emphasizes the message and reinforces the idea that the American dream is not what it seems, and that the band is fighting against the oppressive system.


Overall, the lyrics of "Know Your Enemy" are a call to action and a call for revolution against an oppressive system that the band sees as the enemy.


Line by Line Meaning

Huh
This line is an expressive interjection with no deep meaning


Yeah, we're comin' back in with another bomb track
The band is releasing another powerful track


Think ya know what it's all about, huh
Challenging the audience to really understand the song's message


Ayo, so check this out, yeah
Asking the audience to pay attention to the lyrics that follow


Know your enemy
Recognize your adversary and understand their motives and actions


Come on
Encouraging the audience to embrace the message


Born with insight and a raised fist
As someone who is aware and ready to fight for their beliefs


A witness to the slit wrist, as we move into '92
Having seen the hurt caused by society and carrying that into the next decade


Still in a room without a view
Feeling trapped and confined in a world that doesn't prioritize their beliefs


Ya got to know, ya got to know
Stressing the importance of recognizing and understanding one's enemy


That when I say go, go, go
Urging action and momentum towards a fight against the enemy


Amp up and amplify, defy
Increasing the intensity and volume of one's message while opposing authority


I'm a brother with a furious mind
A person who is enraged and determined to take action


Action must be taken
Urging for definitive action against one's enemy


We don't need the key, we'll break in
Finding a way to defeat the enemy without their support or approval


Something must be done
Expressing a sense of urgency and a need for change


About vengeance, a badge and a gun
Taking action against those who use violence to oppress others


'Cause I'll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
Vowing to rebel and challenge the current system of power


I was born to rage against 'em
This person has always been inclined and ready to fight their oppressors


Fist in ya face in the place
Symbolically assaulting enemies with a raised fist


And I'll drop the style clearly
Communicating his message with clarity


Know your enemy
Reiterating the importance of understanding one's adversary


Ayo, get with this, uh
Encouraging audiences to understand and embrace this message


Word is born
This is a message of truth


Fight the war, fuck the norm
Encouraging rebellion against oppressive norms


Now I got no patience
This singer has no more tolerance for the status quo


So sick of complacence
Tired of seeing people be content with oppression


With the D the E the F the I the A the N the C the E
Using spelling to emphasize the importance of defiance


Mind of a revolutionary
Thinking with the ideas of someone seeking major societal change


So clear the lane
Get out of the way or move aside


The finger to the land of the chains
Expressing an obscene gesture towards the companies and people who profit from oppression


What? "The land of the free"?
Sarcastically questioning whether or not America is really a free country


Whoever told you that is your enemy
Challenging false messages that oppress people and calling out their source as the real enemy


Sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of you
Fed up with people who perpetuate oppressive systems


Time has come to pay
The consequences are finally coming for those who profit from and perpetuate oppression


Yes, I know my enemies
The singer has taken the time to truly understand their opposition


They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Realizing that those who were meant to educate and guide have instead driven people to rebel


Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Listing the oppressive norms that people are expected to follow


Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
Listing the oppressive values that people are expected to accept


All of which are American dreams
Calling out the idea that these expectations are the hallmark of the American Dream


All of which are American dreams
Reiterating that these are not just societal norms, but rather the ideal of American culture


All of which are American dreams
The repetition underscores the idea that these are deeply ingrained in American society and culture


All of which are American dreams
The singer wants to emphasize that these oppressive ideas are not just dreams but a reality for many Americans


All of which are American dreams
Emphasizing that to know your enemy is to recognize how pervasive and powerful these oppressive norms are in the US


All of which are American dreams
Reiterating the message that these are the ideas that need to be fought against




Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing
Written by: Timothy Commerford, Thomas B. Morello, Zack M. De La Rocha, Brad J. Wilk

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@aretherelakerstotalkabout8911

Yes I know my enemies
They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise
Conformity
Assimilation
Submission
Ignorance
Hypocrisy
Brutality
The elite
All in which are American dreams all in which are American dreams all in which are American dreams all in which….. American dreams

Arguably the most powerful lyric I have ever listen to



@_belial

Lyrics:

Huh!
Yeah, we're comin' back in with another "Bombtrack"
Think ya know it's all of that, HUH!
Hey yo, so check this out...
Yeah...
Know your enemy!
Come on!

Born with insight and a raised fist
A witness to the slit wrist
As we, move into '92
Still in a room without a view
Ya got to know, ya got to know
That when I say go, go, go!
Amp up and amplify
Defy, I'm a brother with a furious mind
Action must be taken
We don't need the key, we'll break in

Something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
Cause I'll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to Rage Against 'em!
Fist in ya face in the place and I'll drop the style clearly...
Know your enemy!

Know your enemy!

Yeah!
Hey yo, and get with this... ugh!

Word, is, born!
Fight the war, FUCK the norm!
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence
With the D, the E, the F, the I, the A, the N, the C, the E
Mind of a revolutionary, so clear the lane
The finger to the land of the chains
WHAT?! The "land of the free?"
Whoever told you that is your enemy!
Now something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
Cause I'll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to Rage Against 'em!
Now action must be taken
We don't need the key, we'll BREAK IN!!

I've got no patience now...
So sick of complacence, now...
I've got no patience, now...
So sick of complacence now..
Sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of...you..
Time...has...come...to...PAY!!!
Know your enemy!

Come on!
Yes, I know my enemies!
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me!
Compromise! Conformity! Assimilation! Submission!
Ignorance! Hypocrisy! Brutality! The elite!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!

All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!



All comments from YouTube:

@DrBeauHightower

This song really showcased the guitar style that Tom would bring to audio slave

@4kpingu

didn't expect to see you here...

@amarillo856

@4k pingu no kidding lmao

@JarodJoseph

@4k pingu it’s the internet not a house party 😆

@4kpingu

@@JarodJoseph lmao

@behelit1997

The guitar is so kewl that is Age Restricted 😮😮😮😮

8 More Replies...

@glenrose1933

Sometimes rock and rap were extraordinary together. One of few examples. No one did it better.

@glenrose1933

It Mite b. U gotta stay stayed in my lane orcordilng to fo show they could do there thing

@ashrasmun1

Limp Bizkit did fantastically too.

@Gulag00

Linkin Park

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