Favorite Album

Evil Empire is the second album from the Rage Against the Machine catalog dropping on April 16th, 1996 and got its name from the Ronald Reagan era in reference to the Soviet Union.  Evil Empire got to number one on Billboard top 200 and by 2000 it was already certified platinum 3x. The genre is rap metal and it dropped on the Epic label. Here is the tracklist:

1. “People of the Sun” 2:30
2. “Bulls on Parade” 3:49
3. “Vietnow” 4:39
4. “Revolver” 5:30
5. “Snakecharmer” 3:56
6. “Tire me” 3:00
7. “Down Rodeo” 5:20
8. “Without a Face” 3:36
9. “Wind Below” 5:50
10. “Roll Right” 4:22
11. “Year of the Boomerang” 4:02
Total length: 46:34

Albums that run less than 50 minutes and can punch you in the face the entire time you are listening to them are the best in my opinion. The first time I hear this album I was 11 and I got it from a friend who is now a huge music buff and touring with some underground bands from Portland, Oregon. Anyway ever since I heard it the first time it’s been my favorite album of all time. When it starts out with “People of the Sun” you are instantly hooked right in by the hooks and Tom Morello’s guitar riffs. “Bulls on Parade” gives you an outlet to release your anger through your eardrums because when Zack sings “rally round the family, pocket full of shells” the anger behind just that line is enough to give you a voice against injustice. “Vietnow” was always the song I turned on whenever my dad would get in my face and lose it on me for being a kid “turn on the radio, nah FUCK IT!”

The rest of the tracks gave me a strange kind of peace after I listened to the first three. I looked at the first three as my go-to songs whenever I was pissed off and had no outlet to express myself. This album is unbelievable and I’ll still listen to it a few times a week. In closing here are my favorite lyrics from the Album:

Evil Empire – Bulls on Parade 1996

The microphone explodes
Shattering the molds
Either drop the hits like de la O
Or get the fuck off the commode
With the sure shot
Sure to make the body drop
Drop and don’t copy, yo
Don’t call this a co-op

Terror rains drenchin’
Quenchin’ the thirst of the power dons
That five-sided fist-a-gon
The rotten sore on the face of mother earth gets bigger
The trigger’s cold, empty your purse

Rally ’round the family
With a pocket full of shells
They rally ’round the family
With a pocket full of shells
They rally ’round the family
With a pocket full of shells
They rally ’round the family
With a pocket full of shells, come on

Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk the corner to the rubble
That used to be a library
Line up to the mind cemetery now

Favorite Artist

Zack Dela Rocha from “Rage Against the Machine” was born on January 12th, 1970 and wrote most of the lyrics for “RATM.” He was the lead vocalist and very vital to “RATM” as he is a strong voice against the injustices to humans. His rage in the lyrics he writes is beautiful but also very dark and heavy. Tom Morello was the co-founder of “RATM” and while Zach was performing rap gigs in local bars Tom found him and asked if he would do vocals along with write for the band. They became good friends and fought the “machine” with Zacks lyrics, Toms guitar, Brad’s drums, and Tims bass to release their rage and anger. They became a powerhouse for so many as they grew and fought tirelessly to “take the power back.” Unfortunately, Rage Against the Machine broke up in 2000 because of decision-making differences but they came back together from 2007-2011 for one last bang against the machine. In 2011 Zack decided to start his solo career and has several projects that show he is staying consistent with how he feels along with keeping his vocals at top performance.

For me, Zack has been my favorite vocalist/writer since the first time I listened to a “RATM” album. From his raps to his ability as a rock star he permeates my eardrums just right every time I turn on an album. In 2007 I was able to go see “RATM” in Los Angeles, California and the show was insane. Most of the time the pit didn’t stop moving and the energy in the room was more extreme then any energy I’ve ever experienced. I got a black eye and a few bruised ribs but it was worth it I still say that was the best show I have ever been to because of the energy. I love “RATM” and how they were able to mix punk, rock, hip-hop, and a little blues into their tracks, they are unlike any band I’ve listened to. They got their inspiration from bands like; The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Sex Pistols, the Cure, and Bad religion which is the reason I love them so much. The punk musical transitions in the way they can go from hip-hop to punk are taking The Clash to a whole new level of musical abilities is never heard before or even after “RATM” separated. The little hooks Tom Morello gives us with his insane guitar riffs along with Brad Wilks drums, Tim Commerford’s bass/backing vocals, and finally Zacks vocals make “RATM” unbelievable.

Zack Dela Rocha will be my favorite artist and set of vocals until the day I die. Rage Against The Machine will be my favorite band until the day I die. The album “Evil Empire” will be my favorite album till the day I die. I just don’t see another band giving us the same feel “RATM” does for me. Maybe soon they will come back together for one more farewell worldwide and write an album for the times in which we are living. I hope so anyway.

Favorite Drink

Coffee was found more like stumbled upon in the 15th century in Yemen and would be brewed and roasted similar to how it is today but they didn’t have a Keurig so it wasn’t quick like today. They had to wait for the fire to get hot and put the pot on and wait for the beans to get soft enough to smash so they could make a stew-like consistency.  Once it was ready they would use cheesecloth to strain it and they had their morning cup of coffee. Can you imagine having to wake up get the fire going and wait for the beans to become soft enough to mush up and strain just so you could have a cup of coffee?  I go through a rigorous process as it is, I can not imagine having to do all that.

I love coffee, I had my first cup when I was 7 years old and just like the crawfish, it was a great experience. I asked my mom if I could try some one morning before we left for school and the look on her face was priceless. It was almost like she was scared that I would have an insane caffeine rush and couldn’t control myself. That didn’t happen instead I fell in love with the process of preparing it. The taste, the smell, and the process of getting it ready where all instant gratifications and gave me an unconditional love for this incredible substance.  I didn’t even put sugar in the coffee because I just wanted to see what all the joy was about when I saw people drink it. I added a drop of half n half and from that moment on I haven’t stopped drinking coffee.

I make coffee all sorts of ways like using a french press, Aeropress, and Chemex. Coffee is such a diverse drink that can be had in many different ways. My favorite is still just black with a drop of half n half and I could drink that all day long. My morning starts with coffee and my night ends with coffee. It is a comfort that I don’t take for granted and one of those things that I am so thankful for! If you have never had a pour over with a Chemex I recommend you go out and order yourself one. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

Favorite Food

Crawfish that sweet cajun mudbug that tastes so good and sends your taste buds into outer space. Well, for me anyway. Crawfish dwell on the bottom of swamps, creeks, and streams.  These bottom dwellers look like mini lobsters but they taste better and are a bit easier to eat. The first time I ever ate them I was 5 years old and we were living in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was during the months of February-May when crawfish season happens and you can get 100’s of pounds at a time to have a grand community experience. The crawfish boil brings people from all over the community together to indulge in the sweet cajun delight of cracking the crawfish open, pulling the tail out, and sucking the head of all the juice. You can throw baby potatoes, corn, onions, garlic, lemons, and really anything else that sounds good to you in with the crawfish as they boil and when it is all done you have a huge array of food to pick from. You can spend hours in front of a table and indulge as much as you want. It really is an amazing experience.

During the first time I ever had crawfish I remember the layout like I am still there enjoying every minute of it. I was 5 years old my brother had just been born and we were in our backyard where my dad had 300 pounds of crawfish ready to boil. On top of the 300 pounds of crawfish, there was corn, garlic, onions, lemons, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. It was about to be a party! It took several hours to prep and when it was all said and done the magic happened. When there are 500 pounds of food you just pour it all out onto one large table and find your spot to start eating. I still remember where I stood and what it looked like around me. It was a great experience actually to this day one of the experiences I go back to when I’m struggling and it brings joy to my heart. I enjoy crawfish so much because of that experience and how every experience from that point have been equally as good. I mean they are delicious and some of the tastiest food you can eat but that experience made them my favorite food.

You don’t need to get 300 pounds to enjoy them you could go and get 5 pounds and the experience would be just as impactful. If you enjoy spicy seafood and a great eating experience I recommend crayfish. They are simple to make all you need is seasoning, a big pot, propane cooker, and the crawfish. I haven’t gone out to get my yearly batch yet but the time is coming and it is coming soon!