Rage Against the Machine, Radio, Music News, News, Activism, Metal

Vancouver Radio Station Plays Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing In the Name' On Repeat to Protest Layoffs

Even radio stations can find their own forms of protest!

A Vancouver pop and soft rock radio station played Rage Against The Machine‘s ‘Killing In The Name’ on repeat following the departure of three DJs - two of which who confirmed they had been laid off from the company. The song kept going for over 24 hours, and has finally gone silent today (June 30).

The song started playing early yesterday morning, only to be repeated in an uninterrupted loop. It happened the day after the popular morning hosts Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu announced their departure from KiSS Radio 104.9 FM after more than five years on the air. Afternoon host Tara Jean Stevens also announced she will be moving on soon.

“KiSS is changing and, unfortunately, we were informed that we will not be part of this new chapter,” said Lim and Sidhu during their final broadcast yesterday. “It comes with mixed emotions, as you can probably hear.”

The Vancouver Sun - one of the first news outlets to report on the stunt - added that when a listener called in to request a different song, a DJ ignored it and continued to play Rage Against The Machine.

Responding to the stunt, Rage guitarist Tom Morello retweeted a message from one fan who wrote: “A pop radio station in Vancouver laid off all of their staff yesterday. Whoever is on the controls this morning has been playing Killing In The Name Of on repeat since 6am (it’s now 9:30). @KevinLimOnAir @Sonia_Sidhu. It’s beautiful.”

"Killing In the Name Of" was the lead single from Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut album, initially only reaching #25 on the UK charts in 1993 after being released in November 1992. 17 years later, after a Facebook campaign (in response to manufactured artists from a TV show releasing a Christmas single), the single reached #1 on the UK, #2 on the Scottish, #2 on the Irish and #4 on the European Singles Charts. In addition, the song became the Fastest-selling digital track (UK), according to Guinness World Records, with 502,672 downloads.

"Killing In the Name Of" was written in response to the Rodney King beating in 1991, which resulted in the L.A. riots, and is considered a searing protest song against police brutality. KiSS played the censored version of the song on the station.

A spokesperson for Rogers Sports and Media, which owns the station, told the Vancouver Sun that “we will have more details to share with you tomorrow morning on the plans for 104.9 FM in Vancouver”.

A visit to the station's website shows a farewell message for visitors. "Thank you for listening to KiSS Radio in Vancouver & The Valley. This KiSS is saying goodbye but you can still listen to the KiSS Radio in Edmonton, Ottawa, and Toronto on their websites or on your smart speaker devices," it reads.

The protest by KiSS Radio comes just before Rage Against the Machine embarks on their Public Service Announcement Tour in July. Run the Jewels will join them for North American dates in early 2023. The band recently announced their decision to donate the ticket sales for their upcoming reunion concerts in Wisconsin and Illinois to local reproductive rights organizations. The total amount is nearly half a million dollars.

Listen to "Killing In the Name" and see the KiSS DJs' farewell posts below.

Check out our selection of free stations streaming Rage Against the Machine music at Live365.com.

Rather listen on our app? Download the Live365 app on iOS or Android. Ready to start your own station? Contact one of our Product Consultants or visit our website today. Keep up with the latest news by following us on Facebook (Live365 (Official) and Live365 Broadcasting) and Twitter (@Live365 and @Broadcast365)!

Article Image: A 2007 concert photo of Rage Against the Machine Singer Zack de la Rocha pointing to the crowd. Brad Wilk plays drums behind him. (Scott Penner [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)

Author image

About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey