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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Pop Goes The Weapon’ By Prophets Of Rage

The post was originally published at Ongoing History Of Protest Songs.

“Warning! The following video contains content that some viewers may not find disturbing. That’s pretty fucked up.”

The following quote was part of a social media teaser for the new video for “Pop Goes The Weapon” the latest single by the rap-rock supergroup Prophets of Rage.

Both the song and video are a scathing indictment of the ongoing incidents of gun violence in the United States. These incidents are so commonplace that many are unmoved by their frequent occurrence.

“Guns are both the subject of religious worship and huge profits in the United States,” guitarist Tom Morello said in a press statement. “Combined with emboldened white nationalism, the recent epidemic of massacres is little surprise. ‘Pop Goes The Weapon’ channels our ‘thoughts & prayers’ through Marshall stacks & microphones.”

The tune’s aggressive musical attack is well suited to the potent lyrics and vocals of B-Real and Chuck D.

“See I’m numb just lookin’ / For a reason for my finger, To be squeezing on the trigger / Through another killin’ season,” and “One gun two gun three guns four / So many guns keep on runnin’ out the store.”

The video lists every mass shooting that occurred in the United States between January 1st-September 2nd, 2019, including the date, location and a tally of those that were killed and injured. The visuals also effectively use various news headlines and images of assault rifles to highlight the current gun violence epidemic.

It concludes with the names of those who were recently murdered by mass shooters in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Instead of accepting gun violence as a new reality, Prophets of Rage attacks our collective complacency so that we may be moved to build a world that is not dominated by violence.

CLOSE THE CAMPS rally. Photo by Peg Hunter on Flickr.
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CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest