For every argument that Wes Borland is an innovative guitarist or that Limp Bizkit had some songs that weren't that awful, there's the requisite acknowledgement that Fred Durst is terrible at writing lyrics, even worse at rapping them, and is, in general, a monumental douchebag whose emotional repertoire is more or less limited to retarded, bellowing rage and post-domestic-violence-style moments of apology. Even so, Limp Bizkit is an interesting band.
Since rising to prominence/infamy in the late '90s among directionless, angsty teenage boys with dubious taste (confession: I once owned a copy of Three Dollar Bill, Yall$) and immediate loathing among everyone else, Limp Bizkit has existed in a kind of weird netherworld — one of near-universal hatred, sure, but not the pure hatred reserved for bands like Nickelback and Creed: You may hate the Bizkit on principle, but I dare you to listen to "N 2 Gether Now" and not groove to it. You can't. Because as much as it pains you to admit it, that song was really good. What's worse, it was better than good — it was important. I will now shatter your whole world by explaining why.
Since the good Reverend Run broke rock and roll's champagne glasses in King of Rock, hip-hop and rock and roll have been trying to make sweet love, and the outcomes have been much like what you'd expect from interspecies copulation: awkward, perverse, and traumatizing to listen to. For every experiment like Run-D.M.C. that works, there are 900 bands that fall into the mutant trash heap of nu-metal, the only genre of music in history that it is acceptable to hate unequivocally. Really, of all the myriad efforts of the '90s and the early aughts to make nu-metal not suck, "N 2 Gether Now" was one of the very few to do it with any degree of success — and based on sheer statistics alone, that's notable. And maybe it's why Cash Money Records signed Limp Bizkit to its roster last week.
Bear with me now: Nu-metal was rock's doomed effort to appropriate hip-hop, and, thank God, it's basically a repressed memory anymore. But hip-hop has not forgotten. In fact, in recent years, hip-hop has seemingly picked up the torch, and its efforts to appropriate rock have made exactly the same mistakes, trafficking in only the most grotesque clichés of either genre. Recall, if you will, the colossal shit-splosion that was Weezy's Rebirth, and then stop recalling that, because those memories are too painful to dwell on. But Young Money is not about to give up.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Because Weezy, Cash Money's flagship artist, went a step further by announcing a collabo with the Bizkit, and it's due to come out this week. In a way, it's fitting: Like Durst, Lil Wayne can be an absurdly shitty lyricist (though, unlike Durst, he can also be pretty clever). He also wears a lot of hats. And while the probability-of-crap-o-meter is going off the charts with this one, at the very least, it'll be interesting to see what happens, in the way it would be interesting to see what happens when you breed a panther and a dinosaur: Could be fucking awesome, but most likely it'll just be weird and gross.