Year of tha Boomerang

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"Year of the Boomerang"
Single by Rage Against the Machine
from the album Higher Learning (soundtrack) and Evil Empire
ReleasedDecember 17, 1994
GenreRap metal
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 the Boomerang"
"Bulls on Parade"

"Year of tha Boomerang" is a song by American rock band Rage Against the Machine. It originally appeared in the film and on the soundtrack of Higher Learning in 1994 and was eventually included on their second album Evil Empire (1996). 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.

"Year of the Boomerang" made its live debut at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA on April 29, 1994.


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[edit]

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.

The lyrics appear to be about minority representation and equality, as they contain several references to struggles against racism, sexism, and colonialism. These include the lines;

"Tha sistas are in so check tha front line/It seems I spent the 80s in a Haiti state of mind"

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[edit]

  • In 2019, supporters of the QAnon movement 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.[1]


  1. ^ Mantyla, Kyle (July 30, 2019). "Year Of The Boomerang: QAnon Meets Rage Against The Machine". Right Wing Watch.

External links[edit]