One of the most important rock bands of the 1990s, Rage are often credited with inventing the nu metal genre. They were known for their radical politics, which infused their music as well as being expressed through written pieces on album sleeves, in magazines, and on the band's website, and by their participation in political protests[?]. Among other campaigns, the band have campaigned for the releases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier.
The band's musical signatures were de la Rocha's distinctive, rap-influenced vocal style and Morello's experimentation with guitar sounds, and fans particularly admired their powerful live performances. They toured with many other significant bands, including U2 and the Wu-Tang Clan. Some critics, however, accused them of "selling out" because they signed with a major record label, or felt that their politics were mostly bluster with no real conviction.
The band released three studio albums of original material, Rage Against the Machine (album) (1992), Evil Empire (1996) and The Battle of Los Angeles (1999). There was also a covers album, Renegades[?] (2000), an album of live and rare material fittingly titled Live and Rare[?] (1997), several singles, and two videos, Rage Against the Machine (1997) and The Battle of Mexico City (2001).
Zack de la Rocha left the band between the release of The Battle of Los Angeles and the release of Renegades, though the latter features his vocals. The band officially split up not long afterwards. Zack de la Rocha is believed to be working on new material in the hip-hop arena; the remaining members of the band recruited ex-Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell as vocalist and are working as a new group under the name Audioslave. The first Audioslave single, Cochise, was released by early November 2002, and the first album followed. According to a Spin magazine[?] interview with de la Rocha, he has recorded several tracks with various artists, among them DJ Shadow[?]. There is currently no information on when de la Rocha's solo album will be released, but in 2003 a song called "March of Death" that he recorded with DJ Shadow was released in protest of the war on Iraq.