Violence, it often is said, is the last refuge of the incompetent, but few people have ever gotten through a grade-school playground, a bar filled with pumped-up frat boys, or a hockey match without facing the very real possibility of a fight.
In the future, there might come a time where one would have to shed usual beliefs of being a lover and not a fighter. Here are a few songs to get you ready for that bare-knuckle brawl when it comes along.
“Bulls on Parade,” Rage Against the Machine
It would be impossible to have a list of songs to get pumped up for a fight to without including at least one track from Rage Against the Machine. All of their songs will get you amped up for a battle, but “Bulls on Parade” kicks it to another level with its heavy bass and drums perfectly grounding the chaotic guitar licks of Tom Morello and the forceful, angry vocals of Zack de la Rocha. The lyrics of the track are about fighting against corrupt government forces trying to hold people down, but they would serve just as easily in any fight. When de la Rocha screams, “Come wit it now!” near the end of the song right before that epic breakdown, how can you not be ready for the fight of your life?
“Fuckin’ in the Bushes,” Oasis
On the first track from the band’s fourth studio album Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, the elements that make “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” a great song to fight to include a raucous yet steady drum beat and a driving, unstoppable guitar line that roars throughout the track. The song also was made famous in the Guy Ritchie film “Snatch.” It is played during the iconic final scenes of the movie, which include a brutal boxing match and bloody retribution for Brad Pitt’s character, Mickey. Besides, it comes from a band that was known as equally for their rock ‘n’ roll as they were for the nearly constant fighting between brothers and frontmen Noel and Liam Gallagher.
“Ruff Ryders Anthem,” DMX
No matter how you feel about the embattled rapper, there’s little in this song that won’t get you hyped up. The song’s all about destroying those who stand in your way. Just listen to the chorus: “Stop, drop, shut ‘em down open up shop/Oh/No/That’s how Ruff Ryders roll.” If those aren’t fighting words, then what are? Not to mention the classic beat. A sitar has never sounded harder on record. Also, unlike threats of violence from other rappers that often are just boastful brags, if anything is true about DMX, it’s that he’s a man of his word. Look at his rap sheet: Aggravated assault, impersonating a federal agent, attempted carjacking, illegal weapon possession. Don’t ever question that DMX means it when he says, “You want it? Come and get it.”
“Thickfreakness,” The Black Keys
The Black Keys are one of those bands that just recently has begun to receive all the popularity and credit they deserved after years of making some of the dirtiest, bluesiest rock since the genre was invented. If you’re a recent fan, you would do yourself a favor to look back through their catalog for all the gems they’ve created, such as this song. That has little to do with why it’s a good song for a fight, but it’s just good advice. The reason this song kicks so much ass is all contained within the rumbling sounds of Dan Auerbach’s guitar work. The song comes out of the gate fast with a sound of revving distortion and hits you with a riff that just keeps on rolling. About a half a minute in, the guitar line starts swaggering on through the speakers as though the fight were over before it even started.
“Patiently Waiting,” 50 Cent featuring Eminem
From Eminem’s menacing beat to line after line of classic, in-your-face raps delivered by two great MCs at the tops of their game, this song was made to be the No. 1 contender and bring home the championship belt. That fist-to-the-face chorus says it all really, but with lines such as, “You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house/And if you got a glass jaw you should watch yo mouth cause I’ll break yo face,” and, “Don’t let me lose you/I’m not trying to confuse you when I let loose with this Uzi and just shoot through your Isuzu.” What song are you trying to mess with? This song is so tough that even though it was never released as a single, it still hit No. 56 on the Billboard chart in 2003. If that isn’t the mark of a song to fight to, then what is?
“C’mon C’mon,” The Von Bondies
It’s funny that this song is such a good fight song, especially when you consider that the lead singer of the band is probably more famous nowadays for getting beaten up by Jack White in an altercation at a night club in 2003 than for his band, but it’s always true that the music doesn’t lie. This song is short and sweet like a good right hook to the jaw. It’s over in a little more than two minutes, but it’s a battering of bass, guitar, drums and frantically yelled vocals. The group-sung chorus of “C’mon! C’mon!” is just asking you to stop circling your opponent and start the fight already.
Whether it had been used in one of the most iconic gun fights in cinema of the past 20 years or not (1999’s The Matrix), this epic electronic jam would be perfect for a fight with its driving bassline and interspersed sirens giving it all the toughness you’d find on the streets. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re “The One” trying to save mankind from machine-enslavement and a false reality or just a thug hoping to bash someone’s brains back into reality, this song has all the ingredients necessary for a good fight. Add a stockpile of automatic weapons and all the black leather you could dream of at your own discretion.
“Black Betty,” Spiderbait
While the 1970s Ram Jam version of this classic Lead Belly song is probably more famous, it is not the better fight song. Spiderbait’s version rocks a lot harder, and it doesn’t slow down. It demands more from the listener, and it gets what it wants. The constant racing guitar and distorted, howling vocals are a lot rougher and wilder than Ram Jam’s rendition. It’s the version of the song from the violent Mirror Universe of “Star Trek” fame. Think Spock, and you have Ram Jam’s dependable and lovable classic. Now think about Spock with a badass goatee and a dagger at his side, and you have Spiderbait’s rough-and-tumble reworking. Who would you rather have your back in a fight?