Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello performing at Occupy Wall Street in 2012
After three DJs were laid off at Vancouver radio station KiSS 104.9 FM, it initially appeared an unidentified remaining employee only had one thing on their mind: Rage (Against The Machine.) Yesterday, the pop rock and contemporary station played a censored version of the band’s song “Killing In The Name” over, and over, and over again.
The one-track power playlist graced the station just a day after popular morning hosts Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu and afternoon host Tara Jean Stevens were all booted from the company after more than five years of employment, per the Vancouver Sun.
“KiSS is changing and, unfortunately, we were informed that we won’t be part of this new chapter,” Lim and Sidhu shared in their last broadcast, which Sidhu also posted to her Twitter account. Stevens also shared her own message to Twitter alongside a selfie taken on her last day in the studio.
Per the Sun, the first strains of “Killing In The Name” were heard early on the morning of July 29, and continued through the afternoon. When one listener called in to beg for a switch up, their request was ignored by the operating DJ.
Given the timing of the layoffs, listeners presumed that the continued broadcast of the track was a form of dissent by employees dissatisfied with the current state of things. “Killing In The Name” is a protest song—the track was released in 1992, one year after Los Angeles police beat Rodney King. The lyrics of the track were inspired by the highly publicized display of police brutality.
During the “Killing In The Name” replay loop, Rage Against The Machine’s own frontman, Tom Morello retweeted a tweet from user @RR7349 detailing the situation, and called the use of the track “beautiful.”
According to an update from the Vancouver Sun posted this morning, though, it appears the whole thing was simply a publicity stunt by the radio station. The station is set to launch a brand new rock station. “We’ve seen huge success with our SONiC brand in Edmonton, serving listeners who are looking for an alternative to pop music,” said Christian Hall, content director for Sonic Radio, in a statement.
He added, “We can’t wait for listeners to meet this fantastic group of entertaining personalities who are unapologetically themselves, and all share a passion for alternative music.”