|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2011)|
|Single by Rage Against the Machine|
|from the album Godzilla: The Album (Original Motion Picture)|
|Released||12 February 1998|
|Format||CD, 7", 12"|
|Genre||Rap metal, rap rock, funk rock|
|Length||4 min 3 s|
|Rage Against the Machine singles chronology|
"No Shelter" is a politically charged song released by Rage Against the Machine in 1998 that was featured on the Godzilla soundtrack. It can also be found as a bonus track on the Australian and Japanese release of The Battle of Los Angeles in 1999. The song is about how the mass media distracts the public from more important issues in the world and manipulates people's minds.
The song discusses consumerism and criticizes the feigned rebelliousness of teenaged consumerism, mentioning Nike and Coca-Cola particularly. Its central theme, however, is media control over public sentiment. In particular it attacks the historical inaccuracy of Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad.
Despite appearing on the Godzilla soundtrack, the song contains the following line attacking the film series:
|“||Godzilla, pure motherfucking filler, get your eyes off the real killer.||”|
The intro guitar riff bears similarity to The Rolling Stones' "Fingerprint File".
"No Shelter" made its live debut on January 28, 1999, at the Continental Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. That show was a benefit show for the convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This video has a retro, 1920s "Golden Age" theme. It resembles the Industrial Revolution with scenes of workers in assembly lines, while company owners oversee the operations. The band plays throughout the video in a room that seems to be part of an abandoned building or factory. In the "board room", executives and developers plot out a sort of "helmet" with a video screen that covers the face. They experiment by putting the helmet on a teenager who is perturbed and upset. The video screen displays a mouth smiling. The executives declare the helmet a success, and shake hands. They take the teenager away in a van, and kill him in a remote area. Because the song was released for the 1998 film Godzilla, satirical "spoofs" of the movie's phrase "Size does matter" appear on billboards in the city scenes. They are:
- "Mumia Abu-Jamal's cell is this big" (a tiny cell) -- "Justice does matter!"
- "The crater at Hiroshima would stretch from here"... (zooms out to other end of city)... "to here." -- "History does matter!"
- "Babies born into poverty in the U.S. each year would fill this building" (large building) -- "Inequality does matter!"
- "Land stolen from Mexico equals five states" (darken area of US map, covering from California to Texas) -- "Imperialism matters!"
References to popular culture
The song contains multiple references to popular culture, criticizing corporate advertising and capitalism. It mentions numerous products, films, brands, and other topics. Among them are Steven Spielberg, Amistad, the VCR, Fourth Reich, Americana, Coca-Cola, Rambo, Nike, and the aforementioned Godzilla series.
- "No Shelter" is featured daily as the closing theme song on "Red Heat" on Hardcore Sports Radio Sirius Satellite Channel 98 from the late fall of 2009 to mid-June 2010 at which point the show was augmented. The song is still featured as the closing before the augmented segment re-opens.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rage Against the Machine.|
- Official Rage Against the Machine Website
- Axis of Justice Tom Morello and Serj Tankian's Activist Website "Axis Of Justice"