By MIKE CHAIKEN
One conversation led to another conversation and that led to yet another conversation.
And, with those discussions, Prophets of Rage—built upon the bones of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill—was born.
The self-described “elite task force of revolutionary musicians determined to confront this mountain of elect year bull” — comes to Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville on Sunday, Aug. 28. The group is Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy, and B-Real of Cypress Hill,
Calling from Montreal, B-Real said the idea for Prophets of Rage arose during discussions among Tom, Tim, and Brad. From there, B-Real explained, the call was made to Chuck D. And Chuck D recommended him, said B-Real.
“Tom gave me a called and asked what I thought about (the idea of collaborating),” said B-Real “I thought it was amazing. I jumped right in.”
Although he had other projects in the work, B-Real said he was “willing to make a sacrifice… because I believed in the idea they were bringing together.”
“The three groups have a longstanding relationship and mutual respect,” said B-Real.
“As an artist, I was stoked to be working with some of my favorite people,” said B-Real. He said Chuck D, in particular, is one of his idols.
Once the line-up for Prophets of Rage was solidified, B-Real said they spent about three months rehearsing before they performed their first show.
Besides music, politics has been a key item on the agenda for Prophets of Rage. For instance, the band made headlines when it played a show in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.
The political dimension of the group is an important one to B-Real. He said it helps him and the band’s fans to be part of the process for the change that the members of Prophets of Rage want to see and “not depend on these politicians who lied for our vote…”
“The only promises they fulfill is for the elite and the rest of us get the shaft,” said B-Real.
B-Real said it’s important for artists to have a seat at the table to lead the nation… although the politicians fear their presence.
“Our influence carries loudly with the youth,” said B-Real. “It’s very dangerous (to the politicians). They never want us to sit at the table because we can influence people.”
“With artists, we can say what we want without fear of losing special interests,” said B-Real. “(Politicians) won’t risk us being there (at the table of governance) and speaking so freely and upsetting the special interests.”
“We’re like the average citizen, but we have a different job,” said B-Real of artists. “Artists throughout history have been more connected to the people.”
But, he said, artists have a pulpit that is not necessarily available to the average citizen.
Given the political bent of Prophets of Rage, B-Real offered some advice to fans this election year.
“It’s great to get involved. It’s important to be involved. But do it peacefully. Revolutions can sometimes turn violent but it can be won peacefully,” he said.
“Keep it peaceful,” said B-Real, “so there’s no more bloodshed.”
When Prophets of Rage comes to Connecticut, B-Real said the set list will pull from the catalogues of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill, but all “Rage-ified.” There also will be a few new songs written by Prophets of Rage, said B-Real.
Before the GOP convention, the band released a new single, “No Sleep Till Cleveland.”
“We’re trying to deliver the most powerful set,” said B-Real. “We’ll give them a musical roller coaster of highs and lows and make it impactful.”
In terms of an eventual full-length album from Prophets of Rage, B-Real said it is a possibility. Fans do want to see something from the partnership, said B-Real. “People are really hungry for Rage Against the Machine songs.”
Prophets of Rage come to the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $69.
For more information, go to MoheganSun.com or ProphetsofRage.com