The track, built around Morello’s fingerpicked nylon-string guitar and brooding vocals, mentions Nat Turner, who led a 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia.
“Our present is tethered to our past,” Morello wrote in a statement of the song, which he played in a June spot on SiriusXM. “The overseer’s whip & noose of history are today echoed in the policeman’s baton & pistol. I had a very clear idea I wanted to express with the song & the video and that is: Sometimes, enough is enough.”
The Rage Against the Machine guitarist referenced Turner in a 2012 Rolling Stone interview. “Whether it’s biblical narratives or Civil War narratives, there are often stories that have been interwoven in my DNA my whole life that have never stopped resonating, and one is the Nat Turner story,” he said.
Morello has released four albums as The Nightwatchman, including his most recent, 2011’s World Wide Rebel Songs. Since that time, the guitarist has toured and recorded with supergroup Prophets of Rage and released his 2018 solo LP, The Atlas Underground.