Rage Against the Machine is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group's line-up consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk. Critics have noted Rage Against the Machine for its "fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of punk, hip hop, and thrash." Rage Against the Machine drew inspiration from early heavy metal instrumentation, as well as rap acts such as Afrika Bambaataa, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and Urban Dance Squad. As of 2010, they have sold over 16 million records worldwide. In 1992, the band released its self-titled debut album, which became a commercial success, leading to a slot in the 1993 Lollapalooza. The band did not release a follow-up record until 1996, with Evil Empire. The band's third album The Battle of Los Angeles was released in 1999. During their initial nine-year run, they became one of the most popular and influential bands in music history, according to music journalist Colin Devenish. They were also ranked #33 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band had a large influence on the nu metal genre which emerged during the mid to late 1990s.
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