Racetraitor - Burn the Idol of the White Messiah (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Burn the Idol of the White Messiah (1999)


If you've found yourself in any form of educational institution within the last three years or so, chances are you've been lectured on the inconsistency of Wikipedia and discouraged from using it as a research tool for fears that some large portion of its information may be inaccurate due to e-hijackers and jokesters entering completely unfounded information on entries. Personally, I've always felt like these suspicions were a bit exaggerated, and have found Wikipedia a useful resource in nearly field of query.

For example, if it weren't for Wikipedia, how would I have known that:

Racetraitor (1995-1999) was a political straight edge metalcore band from Chicago, Illinois who managed to get on the covers of both Maximum Rock N' Roll and HeartattaCk before releasing a note of music. Known for calling audience members "crackers" and for espousing radical beliefs influenced by black nationalism, third worldism and other anti-colonial ideologies (and for some members, eventually, Islam). Their lyrical content revolved around issues of privilege, Western dominance of the Third World and inequalities in globalization. Additionally the band addressed issues pertaining to constructions of sexuality in America, corporate dominance of economic and public life, veganism and the straight edge lifestyle. The name Racetraitor was in reference to using one's social and economic privilege to create a more egalitarian world. The idea was to take the pejorative term "race traitor" used by white American racists and claim it as a positive self-chosen label. The band's message also held that "race" was an artificial and constructed human category. They released an album called 'Burn the Idol of the White Messiah' on Uprising Records and then a split EP called 'Make Them Talk' on Trustkill with their friends in the Indianapolis band Burn It Down. The band were also followers of Fred Hampton Jr and encouraged their fans to write to him, visit him in prison, and raise money for his legal defense
???? I mean, why else would I be slightly intrigued if not for Wikipedia?

Oh, maybe the fact the band is called RACETRAITOR and featured two members who would go on to form a fairly popular band you might have heard of.

Though it's said more often than it's true, Racetraitor may actually be so divisive that "you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em." Or I suppose you could be like me and find amusement in the abrasiveness of the message while only vaguely enjoying the music. While perfectly tolerable in the handful of songs that don't top the two-minute mark ("Curse," "Dar-al Harb," "Suffocation"), four minutes of blast-beats and metalcore crunches ("Broken Dust") wanes on excessive. However, the longer songs are usually as such due to mid-song devices like spoken word breaks ("Cast You Down"), acoustic interludes ("Path to Misery") or extended drum solos ("Broken Dust").

Lyrically, Rt attacks colonialism, slavery, non-Muslim organized religion (Zionism in "Dar-al Harb" and Christianity in "Cast You Down") but is best when articulating a poetic, rebellious ire, spit with passion like in the nearly taqwacore/powerviolence of "Suffocation": "Academies packed full ready to kill for the throne, in drone / Gouging at any voice of fist raised to piercing / State stands in death of the defense / The resistance falls in flock / For your ideal power feeds / Brokering the means of survival and liberty / When the soot falls down from the sky and hope breaks loose / Are you numbed by the blade being pointed at you?"

I don't really know how to end this review, but I'd just like to point out that never once did I directly mention Fall Out Boy. Oh wait…d'oh!