De la Rocha's grandfather, Isaac de la Rocha Beltrán (1910–1985), who fought in the Mexican Revolution and worked as an agricultural labourer in the U. De la Rocha would later see the hardships his grandfather endured reflected in the struggles of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. De la Rocha's interest in punk rock bands like The Clash, The Misfits, Sex Pistols, and Bad Religion turned into an appreciation for other bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and The Teen Idles.
De la Rocha's parents divorced when he was six years old, and he moved from East Los Angeles to Irvine with his mother, who attended the University of California at Irvine and ultimately earned a Ph. In high school, he joined the straight edge band Hardstance, which evolved into the hardcore band Inside Out around 1988 and gained a national underground following.
During that time, De La Rocha said, "I think our relationship now is better than it's ever been." RATM thrived off that energy until July 30th, 2011, when they played their final show to date at the L. (Commerford told in 2015 that the MC had been "working his ass off" on a follow-up, but no further details have emerged.) Otherwise, De La Rocha has remained strangely elusive, popping up only occasionally to work with artists like DJ Shadow, Saul Williams and Run the Jewels.
On October 7, 2005, de la Rocha returned to the stage with new material, performing with Son Jarocho band Son de Madera.
He later spoke as MC and again performed with Son de Madera at the November 22 Concert at the Farm, a benefit concert for the South Central Farmers.
I hope it not only makes us think, but also inspires us to act and raise our voices.
This album also contained "No One Left", the debut recording by former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello as The Nightwatchman.
After searching for a replacement for de la Rocha, the other members of Rage joined Chris Cornell of Soundgarden to form Audioslave.