Township Rebellion
Rage Against the Machine Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Rebel, rebel and yell
'Cause our people still dwell in hell
Locked in a cell
Yes, the structure's a cell
Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, seein' what's at stake
Action for reaction
If your mind's in a somewhat complacent state
Get a check up
This is a stick up
Our freedom or your life
Lord, I wish I could be peaceful
But there can be no sequel
Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or South Central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion

Yeah, what about that, sucker? Unh

Yeah, so you thought you could get with the hard lines
That fill your mind
Thoughts, battles fought
And lessons taught
Yes I'll display the fitness
And flip like a gymnast
Raise my fist and resist
Asleep, though we stand in the midst
Of a war
Gotta get mine
Gotta get more
Keepin' the mic warm against the norm
'Cause what does it offer me?
I think often it's nothin' but a coffin

Gotta get wreck
Till our necks never swing on a rope
From here to the cape of no hope

Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or South Central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

What's it gonna take?

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackle their minds when they're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost, lost!
Shackle your minds and you're left on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost!
Just shackle your minds when you're bent on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost!

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm




Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

Overall Meaning

In the lyrics to "Township Rebellion," Rage Against the Machine takes on issues of social injustice and economic inequality, specifically in South Africa and Southern California. The song is a call to rebel against the oppressive structures that keep people locked in poverty and despair. The opening lines, "Rebel, rebel and yell / 'Cause our people still dwell in hell / Locked in a cell / Yes, the structure's a cell / Mad is the story I tell," set the tone for the rest of the song.


The lyrics make it clear that complacency is not an option, and action is necessary to create real change. The chorus proclaims that freedom must be fundamental, whether it's in Johannesburg or South Central, and that it's time for someone to kick in the township rebellion. The song also takes aim at the societal norms that allow for this oppression to continue, telling listeners to fight the war and fuck the norm.


Rage Against the Machine is known for their political and social activism, and "Township Rebellion" is no exception. The band uses their platform to bring attention to the struggles of the marginalized and to encourage others to take action. The passion and urgency in the lyrics and music are a testament to their commitment to the cause.


Line by Line Meaning

Rebel, rebel and yell
We must revolt and scream for change.


'Cause our people still dwell in hell
Our society is still in a state of misery and despair.


Locked in a cell
We are confined to a structured system that limits our freedom and growth.


Yes, the structure's a cell
The existing system oppresses us and restricts our progress.


Mad is the story I tell
I speak the truth about the injustice and the atrocities that our society commits.


How long can we wait?
We cannot postpone our action any further.


Come on, seein' what's at stake
We need to open our eyes and understand the consequences of our inaction.


Action for reaction
We need to take action to secure our freedom and rights.


If your mind's in a somewhat complacent state
If you are indifferent to the state of the world, you need to wake up and act.


Get a check up
Examine your conscience and question the system that oppresses us.


This is a stick up
We are demanding our freedom and justice, and we will not back down.


Our freedom or your life
We will not hesitate to fight for our freedom, even if it means a loss of life.


Lord, I wish I could be peaceful
I hope for peace, but I know that real change requires struggle and action.


But there can be no sequel
We cannot repeat the same mistakes of the past, we must create a better world.


Now freedom must be fundamental
Freedom is a fundamental human right that must be protected at all costs.


In Johannesburg or South Central
Whether in apartheid-era South Africa or inner-city America, we need to fight for freedom and equality.


On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
I am speaking out against injustice and oppression, and someone needs to hear it.


To kick in the township rebellion
We must fight for our freedom with everything we have, and not back down until we achieve our goal.


Gotta get wreck
We need to fight with everything we have, without holding back.


Till our necks never swing on a rope
We will not let ourselves be hanged by the system that oppresses us.


From here to the cape of no hope
We will fight for our freedom, no matter how hopeless the situation may seem.


Why stand on a silent platform?
We cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and oppression.


Fight the war, fuck the norm
We must actively fight against the norm that oppresses us, even if it means war.


Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
The system controls and oppresses us, even to the point of breaking our spirits.


When ignorance reigns, life is lost
When we remain ignorant and complacent, we lose our freedom and our lives.


Just shackle your minds when you're bent on the cross!
We must break free from the chains that bind us to the oppressive system.




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:

Limits98

Lyrics

Rebel, 
Rebel, 
And yell
Cause our people 
Still dwell in hell
Locked in a cell, 
Yes 
The structure's a cell
Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, 
Seeing what's at stake
Action for reaction
If your mind's in a 
Somewhat complacent state, 
Get a check up
This is a stick up
Our freedom, 
Or your life
Lord, 
I wish I could be peaceful
But there can be no sequel
Now freedom must 
Be fundamental
In Johannesburg, 
Or South Central
On the mic, 
Cause someone
Should tell em
To kick in the
Township rebellion

Yeah, 
What about that sucka
Ugh

Yeah, 
So you thought you could 
Get with the hardlines, 
That fill your mind
Thoughts, 
Battles fought, 
And lessons taught
Yes 
I'll display the fitness, 
And flip like a gymnast
Raise my fist and resist!
Asleep though we stand 
In the midst, 
Of the war
Gotta get mine, 
Gotta get more
Keeping the mic 
Warm against the norm
Cause 
What does it offer me?
I think often it's 
Nothing but a coffin
Gotta get wreck till 
Our necks never 
Swing on a rope
From here to the
Cape of no hope
Now freedom must 
Be fundamental
In Johannesburg, 
Or South Central
On the mic, 
Cause someone
Should tell em
To kick in the
Township rebellion

Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm

Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm

What's it gonna take?
Yeah

Shackle their minds when 
They're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Shackle their minds when 
They're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Shackled our minds when 
We're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Shackled our minds when 
We're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Lost
Lost
Shackle your minds and 
You're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Just
Shackle your minds when 
You're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, 
Life is lost
Lost

Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm
Why stand on 
A silent platform?
Fight the war, 
Fuck the norm



John Wescott

"Township Rebellion"

Rebel, rebel and yell
'Cause our people still dwell in hell
Locked in a cell
Yes, the structure's a cell
Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, seein' what's at stake
Action for reaction
If your mind's in a somewhat complacent state
Get a check up
This is a stick up
Our freedom or your life
Lord, I wish I could be peaceful
But there can be no sequel
Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or South Central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion

Yeah, what about that, sucker?

Yeah, so you thought you could get with the hardlines
That fill your mind
Thoughts, battles fought
And lessons taught
Yes I'll display the fitness
And flip like a gymnast
Raise my fist and resist
Asleep, though we stand in the midst
Of a war
Gotta get mine
Gotta get more
Keepin' the mic warm against the norm
'Cause what does it offer me?
I think often it's nothin' but a coffin

Gotta get wreck
Till our necks never swing on a rope
From here to the cape of no hope

Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or South Central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

What's it gonna take?
Euuurrrggghhhhh
Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackle their minds when they're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost, lost
Shackle your minds and you're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Just shackle your minds when you're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm



Kenneth Dumasig

Rebel, rebel and yell
'Cause our people still dwell in hell
Locked in a cell
Yes, the structure's a cell
Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, seein' what's at stake
Action for reaction
If your mind's in a somewhat complacent state
Get a check up
This is a stick up
Our freedom or your life
Lord, I wish I could be peaceful
But there can be no sequel
Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or south central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion
Yeah, what about that, sucker?
Yeah, so you thought you could get with the hardlines
That fill your mind
Thoughts, battles fought
And lessons taught
Yes I'll display the fitness
Then flip like a gymnast
Raise my fist and resist
Asleep, though we stand in the midst
Of a war
Gotta get mine
Gotta get more
Keepin' the mic warm against the norm
'Cause what does it offer me?
I think often it's nothin' but a coffin
Gotta get wrecked
'Til our necks never swing on a rope
From here to the cape of no hope
Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or south central
On the mic, 'cause someone should tell 'em
To kick in the township rebellion
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
What's it gonna take?
Uhh!
Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackle their minds when they're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when we're left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost, lost!
Shackle your minds and you're left on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost!
Just shackle your minds when you're bent on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost!
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm



All comments from YouTube:

Ethan Herrin

Most underappreciated song they ever did

Ben Lawless

I agree, this song hits hard to my political ideals. don't be spoon-fed hatred fear and ignorance, question everything. You are more than a sheep, you're a spark, you're a fire waiting to happen

Agent 0-1-0

You've got strenght, you've got soul,you've felt pain, you've felt love, you can make this world whatever you want, you can revolt

Scott Taggart

Ethan Herrin ditto.

Allan Phillips

This has always been my favorite song and it is always under the radar. Also I hear Johannesburg is lovely this time of year.

40 More Replies...

Ivan Martin

I love this fusion of hip hop/rap and hard rock/metal

Eccentric Juices

Well this band is categorized as Rap Metal, Funk Metal, and Heavy Metal. Don't get confused with Rap Metal and Nu metal. Rage were the ones who birthed the genre but they really had nothing to do with it.

Trigger Warning

That's why I hate categories. Unless "kickass" is a category, then it would sound about right for RATM.

GZA

Trigger Warning Absolutely hate the term ”rapcore”, ”rockrap” etc, it’s amazing music and RATM is a basically a genre themselves.

kuntknuckles

Imagine hearing it in 1992 🤯

4 More Replies...
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