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This time, the two have covered Rage Against the Machine‘s 1992 protest anthem Killing in the Name in solidarity with the recent Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd last month.
Machine Gun Kelly, born Colson Baker, embraces his new-found path as a rock musician by taking his own crack at the anger-induced lead vocal track.
Killing in the Name calls for not only an end to police brutality but systemic racism, too.
“(Rage Against the Machine) wrote this song in 1992. Its been 28 years since and every word still applies,” the video’s caption reads.
In the much-loved rap-rock single, police officers are frequently compared to members of the Ku Klux Klan, the American white supremacist hate group.
“Some of those that work forces / are the same that burn crosses,” Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha repeatedly sings throughout Killing in the Name.
Burning crosses are among the “most potent hate symbols” associated with the KKK, according to the American Anti-Defamation League.
As well as in-studio footage from the joint performance, the video is interlaced with footage captured during protests from across the U.S. in the past couple weeks — some of which includes MGK and Barker.
Killing in the Name was originally released six months after the Los Angeles riots, which were sparked by the acquittal of four L.A. police officers who were videotaped violently beating Black motorist Rodney King in March 1991.
Fifty-two people were killed during the Los Angeles riots, and King quickly became a reluctant symbol of police brutality.
Floyd, a Black man, was killed on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis. He was 46.
Just as Barker pummels his snare drum at a lightning-fast pace and the final notes of Killing in the Name ring out, MGK shouts: “To the protesters in the streets: fight the system, f—k the system. We will be heard.”
— With files from the Associated Press
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