Year of tha Boomerang
|"Year of the Boomerang"|
|Single by Rage Against the Machine|
|from the album Higher Learning (soundtrack) and Evil Empire|
|Released||December 17, 1994|
|Songwriter(s)||Tim Commerford, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk|
|Producer(s)||Brendan O'Brien, Rage Against the Machine|
|Rage Against the Machine singles chronology|
"Year of tha Boomerang" is a song by the American political rap metal musical group Rage Against the Machine. It originally appeared in the film and on the soundtrack of Higher Learning in 1994. On the back of the soundtrack, the song is called "Year of the Boomerang". Although the track was released as a promotional radio CD single, it was never given a domestic release.
The track was re-recorded and included on their second album, Evil Empire in 1996. The spelling of the track was then altered to "Year of tha Boomerang". The spelling of "tha" in the title is a representation of the common hip-hop pronunciation of the definite article "the". The same spelling is used in the Evil Empire liner notes and lyrics to every song for nearly every instance of the word.
The Higher Learning and album versions are slightly different. While the original version has a more prominent bass and hip hop feel, the Evil Empire version's guitars are mixed significantly heavier.
Lyrical themes and references
The title "Year of tha Boomerang" is a reference to Sartre's quotation "it is the moment of the boomerang", referring to anti-colonial violence in the preface to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth.
As well as;
"It's dark now in Dachau and I'm screamin' from within/'Cause I'm still locked in tha doctrines of tha right/Enslaved by Dogma, ya talk about my birthright/Yet at every turn I'm runnin' into Hells gates/So I grip the cannon like Fanon and pass tha shells to my classmates"
The song also contains the anthemic reprise; "I got no property but yo I'm a piece of it/So let the guilty hang" - in reference to the persecution by those in power of the masses, or the repressed.
'All power to the people' was the central motto of the Black Panther Party. The Mount Tai mention is a reference to a Maoist passage the Party's founder, Huey P. Newton, was fond of: 'To die for the revolution is heavier than Mount Tai'.
Written in the liner notes as Guilty Parties:
In popular culture
- In 2019, supporters of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory co-opted "Year of tha Boomerang" to assert that the lyrics support the agenda of the movement's leader and allude to former President Barack Obama's citizenship, even though the song and the band's lyrics as a whole are considered left-wing, and the fact the song was released in 1994, fourteen years before Obama was elected president.
- Mantyla, Kyle (July 30, 2019). "Year Of The Boomerang: QAnon Meets Rage Against The Machine". Right Wing Watch.