The seductive force of American supercapitalism unlocks new markets, unleashing the energy of desire, and provides a destructive version of Satan's rage. At the vanguard of this seduction has been the youthful rage and rebellion of the devil's music, American rock 'n' roll and its multiple related subgenres. This book looks at the most pervasive forms of American popular music in the post-cold-war period. Gangsta rap exploits and informs the consumption of luxury brands. The 'mom and pop rage' of the nu metal bands self-consciously exposes itself as the violent expression, the excess of the implacable banal excess, and of shopping-mall consumerism. The book explores the negativity and the 'niggativity' of American rap/metal in the 1990s in relation to a number of key events in the decade such as the Rodney King riots and the Columbine High School massacre. On the face of it, the gangsta 'nigga' is an unlikely point of identification for suburban white culture. But the phenomenon of the 'wigga' (white, wanna-be-nigga) and the success of companies like Nike testify to the fascination that such a figure holds. Rage Against the Machine (also known as Rage or RATM) do not normally have problems with machines, indeed their music and living depend upon them. Rather, the 'machine' is for Rage another word for the new world order of global capitalism. Death metal groups such as Morbid Angel and Deicide aim to outdo the others in its singular relation to death, shock and outrage.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book looks at the most pervasive forms of American popular music in the post-cold-war period. It also looks at how the term negativity has been adopted, variously, by influential and symptomatic popular cultural forms in the domain of American rap/metal music. The book explores how death metal provides a simulation of Satan's rage not just in the horrific visions that it constructs from 'the clippings and footage of daily carnage and abuse' but also in its visions of apocalypse. It concludes at the point of George W. Bush's declaration of the war on terror, a declaration that formalises the condition of perpetual war that had been raging undeclared throughout the 1990s in the form of supercapitalism.
The epoch in which America has been known as the Great Satan is more or less the same as the epoch of the naming of rogue states generally. Consolidated by the end of the cold war, that epoch has, according to Jacques Derrida, been brought to a close by the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. The sound of becoming non American can be heard in Great Satan's rage, reverberating in his thunderbolts from space and in the pulse of his music. Fun'da'mental appear to have, in any case, quite an ambivalent attitude to American popular culture and American rap. The opening track on their 2006 album All is War, 'I Reject', provides a litany of rejection of American and British cultural practices, beliefs and cultural objects.