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Talib Kweli & Tom Morello Talk RATM, SNL Ban, Chris Cornell, Bruce Springsteen | People’s Party Full

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In this episode of “People’s Party With Talib Kweli,” Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with musician, singer, rapper, songwriter, actor, political activist, and legendary guitarist for Rage Against Machine:


This guitar icon gave us one of our most interesting interviews to date. Here’s what we discussed:

• Unlikely inspiration drawn from Kanye West during quarantine.
• Being born in Harlem to a mother of Italian and Irish descent and a Kenyan father.
• His mother’s work as an activist and his father being the 1st ambassador to the United Nations.
• Tom and Talib first meet at a benefit concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
• The reasons why Tom chose to attend Harvard University.
• Finding his calling to become an electric guitarist at age 19.
• The making of ‘Killing In The Name’ and not knowing how iconic the song would become.
• The guitar work on ‘Bulls on Parade’ taking inspiration from RUN DMC’s Jam Master Jay.
• Cypress Hill, Soundgarden and Ice Cube’s ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’ inspiring the RATM sound.
• The mutual respect shared between Tom, B-Real, and Chuck D during the Prophets Of Rage project.
• Why Wu-Tang Clan left in the middle of the tour they co-headlined with Rage in 1997.
• Tom shares a classic Ol’ Dirty Bastard story from that ’97 tour.
• How in 1996 Rage joined the short-list of bands permanently banned from performing on SNL.
• Tom’s take on all politicians being beholden to their lobbyists regardless of party.
• Getting himself fired from his job working as scheduling secretary for a Democratic Senator.
• His principle influences being revolutionaries like the Black Panthers, Che Guevara and others.
• The making of the music video for ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’ with RATM storming Wall Street.
• Tom being encouraged by the younger generation’s openness to socialism over capitalism.
• The silver linings that come from racists playing and enjoying Tom’s music.
• The spooky first meeting of Chris Cornell before the formation of Audioslave.
• How Tom’s ‘The Nightwatchman’ project, playing folk music opened up a whole new world.
• Opening for Suicidal Tendencies before Rage Against Machine became known
• Rage Against Machine’s songs being banned from the airwaves following September 11th.
• Being on the road with Bruce Springsteen during the 2014 High Hopes Tour.
• Boots Riley and Tom forming the rap/rock group Street Sweeper Social Club.
• Tom, Talib and others putting on a free concert in Ferguson during the protests.
• The thoughtful intentions behind Tom’s Atlas Underground project.
• Tom’s ‘Comandante’ release being dedicated to the “guitar tribe”.
• Fans of Tom and GNR’s Slash being unaware or denying that they’re black.
• Metal band Living Colour not getting credit for blurring the color lines of the genre.
• Why Tom felt he had to deny his love for Jimi Hendrix’s music as a young guitarist.
• The making of ‘Let’s Get The Party Started’ featuring the band Bring Me the Horizon.
• Tom convincing Bruce Springsteen to perform ‘Highway To Hell’ in Australia.
• Explaining to Jasmin why playing Guitar Hero isn’t the same as playing the guitar.
• A glimpse into what’s coming next from Tom Morello.