After almost five years of inactivity, Rage Against the Machine managed to literally break the internet (well, at least their own website) by posting a simple Tweet with the hashtag #TakeThePowerBack.
In that Tweet, the band directed fans to ProphetsOfRage.com, a website that was subsequently unavailable online for the entire day due to high numbers of traffic.
As with all cryptic messages, people began to dissect every piece of information available: the hashtag is an obvious reference to the RATM song of the same name, while “Prophets of Rage” is a song by Public Enemy.
The website and accompanying posters that popped up in LA also feature a red, white and black symbol featuring someone holding up a fist sign.
Speculation quickly began that the band were reforming, perhaps even releasing new music at some stage in the future - a rumour that was quickly rubbished by Rolling Stone who quoted a source as saying "This is not a Rage-specific reunion.”
They continued: "There's a lot more to it. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of exciting news to be revealed,” adding that the project will include "some of the members of Rage."
It has since emerged, via Billboard sources, that Prophets of Rage is a supergroup featuring members of RATM, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill.
A source told the magazine that three-quarters of RATM - guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk - will join Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B-Real. They added that Zack de la Rocha will not be involved in the project.
The report states the supergroup’s first show will be at the Hollywood Palladium on 3 June, followed by a show at Los Angeles’ Whisky a Go Go. A tour is also being considered.
RATM last performed together in 2011, having scored a UK Christmas Number One in 2009. Public Enemy released their thirteenth studio album last year, titled Man Plans God Laughs. In 2013, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cypress Hill have been regularly playing festival slots and are gearing up to release their ninth album Elephants on Acid, later this year.
Meanwhile, RATM made headlines last year after Commerford apologised for inspiring Limp Bizkit, saying at the time: “I do apologise for Limp Bizkit. I really do. I feel really bad that we inspired such bullshit.
“They’re gone, though. That’s the beautiful thing. There’s only one [rap metal band] left, and that’s Rage, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re the only one that matters."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies