It was the summer of ’99. My buddy Dan and I carpooled to and from our summer job as ushers at an outdoor musical theatre. As we drove in his piece of shit car, the gas tank sloshing desperately around every turn, we hoped to hear one of Kid Rock’s furious anthems. Between the smash hits “Cowboy,” “Bawitdaba,” and “I Am the Bullgod,” there was a damn good chance we’d have Kid Rock’s ferocious country rap-rock pulsing over the crackling speakers, fading back and forth as the right and left battled for dominance.
Fast forward over fifteen years later. A song comes on the radio. It sounds like a strange mix of Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bryan Adams’s “Summer of ’69,” The Outfield, Damn Yankees, Rascal Flatts, and thousands of other “rock” classics. Lo and behold, it’s the mighty Kid Rock and his new single, “First Kiss,” positively the worst fucking song ever played on the radio.
Kid Rock isn’t a kid anymore. And he sure as hell doesn’t rock anymore. Maybe he never did, at least not in any real sense, but his transformation has been nothing short of appalling. Kid Rock makes Taylor Swift look like a heavy metal superstar.
Before you mistake this for a rant about selling out, let me say that I don’t care what musicians do with their talents. They should make the music they want to make for the reasons they want to make it–whether that be for money, fame, pure enjoyment, or even spite.
But Kid Rock’s new song represents all that is soulless and wrong with the world of music today.
Truthfully, there’s nothing wrong with it in a musical, vocal, or even lyrical sense. There are millions of songs that are inferior in each of the aforementioned categories. Hell, I could write a song about committing acts of bestiality while eating pig shit and record myself screaming incoherent vocals while pounding plastic buckets on the carcasses of roadkill. Clearly this song would seem much worse in every sense of musicianship. Except it would still be better than the festering alt-country-rock shitfest that is “First Kiss.”
The reason this song is the worst thing ever is because it is everything art shouldn’t be. It’s the least artistic thing ever created, a complete cookie-cutter knock off of every shitty pop/rock song that came before it, all barfed together in one nauseatingly nostalgic crap show that makes you hate your life for four minutes.
But that’s not the worst of it. Go ahead, listen to it. Your foot will tap. That fucking generic beat will get stuck in your head and you’ll walk around humming it, only no one will be able to tell which popular sissy rock classic you’re humming. It will just have that annoying “yeah-I-recognize-that-song-but-what-the-hell-is-it” effect on everyone you encounter. And then they’ll start to hum it, creating a never-ending cycle of the worst kind of music sharing.
Kid Rock has become the donkey’s ass of music. Even he knows his music is shit, but he doesn’t care because assholes are eating it up by the millions. We shouldn’t hate Kid Rock. We should hate everyone who allows such soulless garbage to become popular. You can’t blame Kid Rock for pushing out such a turd. Hell, you should give him credit for making such a splash on the radio two decades after he really was a-kid-rockin’-it.
A few weeks ago, I heard “Cowboy” come on the radio, back before I knew about the musical travesty that is “First Kiss.” I did what I would’ve done fifteen years ago on one of those hot summer nights. I cranked that shit up. And I liked every second of it.
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