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Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker “Killing In The Name” cover review

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Joaquin Pheonix’s Joker, is starting to look more and more like an eerily accurate prophet than a psychopathic killer clown these days. From a WW3 scare, to pandemic, to protests, 2020 is quickly becoming a year that cannot be over soon enough. What the fuck, are we living in the 60’s again? In the 60’s there was the closest we ever came to WW3 with the Cuban Missile Crisis, a global pandemic with the Hong Kong Flu, and the Civil Right Protests that were starting to simultaneously erupt around the nation. Looks oddly familiar doesn’t it? Really the only thing different is people don’t have to remember phone numbers or smoke shitty weed anymore.

So naturally, with all of the fresh wave of angst in the air, it looks like we are starting to see the overall “popular” music “vibe”, shift from one of blissful euphoria and opulent decadence, to one of rage and pent up injustice. First, we had Post Malone put on one of the best livestreams of the Quarantine, with a 15 song cover of Nirvana featuring the great Travis Barker on drums. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Run The Jewels decided to drop their latest, protest heavy album early, just days after Killer Mike


’s powerful peace pleading speech to rioters, that ended up making national headlines.


The latest in the new strew of angst filled popular anthems, is Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barkers rendition of “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine. The song starts out great and sounds practically the same as the original aside from it’s played at a lower BPM for some reason. Then, in comes MGK for Zach De La Rosa. I can respect the fact that MGK has t


he balls to attempt this great sacrament of a protest song, but this song might just be better left off to ZDLR to really bring it. MGK’s voice isn’t anywhere close to the pitch of ZDLR and I found myself immediately craving to hear the original.


Travis Barker of course, proceeds to shred on the drums per usual, and the rest of the band does a great job with the instruments, sounding pretty much exactly like the original timbres. But sadly, the only recurring problem for me is MGK’s voice. It just sounds too deep compared to ZDLR’s and it feels like the cover is missing the original’s song rampant, driving energy. Initially, I was excited to see him as the lead singer for this song, but its honestly just a tough act to follow and I can respect MGK’s intentions enough to give him a pass on this one.




I’m gonna go ahead and give this cover a 7.2 score. All in all, I did enjoy listening to this fun, well timed cover, that definitely captures the general vibe of the country right now. And if we can’t get RATM currently, then I guess this isn’t a bad substitute. Just speed up the BPM’s and have MGK do a whip it right before he sings and we should be spot on next time.

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