Vancouver residents were baffled on Wednesday when a local radio station played an angry rock anthem on loop for over 10 hours.
According to a survey by market research firm Ipsos, 68 percent of Canadians listen to commercial radio at least weekly, with 39 percent listening daily. That is higher than the proportion of Candians tuning in to any other audio broadcast platform.
Listeners of KiSS Radio 104.9 FM, which plays soft rock in Vancouver, Canada, turned to the internet for an explanation after the station played Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” nonstop all morning. According to many speculators, the looped song was played in protest by engineers at the station after a popular DJ duo was laid off.
Hosts Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu announced their departure from KiSS Radio the day before. “Our 5 years on KiSS Radio has come to an end,” they said in an announcement on Twitter. “KiSS is changing and unfortunately we were informed that we won’t be part of this new chapter.”
The lyrics of “Killing in the Name” include many repetitions of the lines “Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses” and “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me.” The radio station played a censored version.
Band guitarist Tom Morello retweeted the internet’s revenge theory.
“A pop radio station in Vancouver laid off all of their staff yesterday,” said the post shared by Morello. “Whoever is on the controls this morning has been playing Killing In The Name Of on repeat since 6am (it’s now 9:30).”
The tweet tagged Lim and Sidhu, adding, “It’s beautiful.”
“Whenever someone calls in for a request, they deny it and replay the Rage song again,” noted freelance writer Tracey Lindeman in a tweet with over 50,000 likes.
However, some dissenters suggested that the looped song was merely a stunt by the radio station ahead of a shift in format.
“The same Rogers execs who fired all the staff of Kiss FM are the people who are playing all-RATM to signal a shift to an alt-rock format,” claimed one user.
Newsweek reached out to KiSS FM’s parent company Rogers Sports and Media for comment.
It wouldn’t be the first time workers went viral for a petty method of revenge on their company. In May, an alleged former Blockbuster employee said they gave discounts to customers who donated to charity. Another worker managed to “automate” his boss right out of a job. And an employee earned praise last year for his revenge on an overbearing bosswhom he decided to notify every time he left his desk for a bathroom break or a drink from the water fountain.