Monday, November 22, 2010

Kid Rock Will Save Us

It was the summer of 1999. That was not my favorite summer of all time for many teenage-angst reasons, but there were also some non-teenage-angst reasons, and one of those reasons was the song Bawitdaba by KIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD................KIDDDDDDDD ROCK! There was some sort of a motor cycle rally taking place on top of a mobile home and a bunch of people (guys and girls) wearing glittery clothes and dancing around in a provocative manner. No one knew or cared what the song was about, but it was conducive to aggression and included the phrase "topless dancers", so it was primed for success before it even hit the pre-iTunes airwaves. There was even a swearing and angry little person - another sure sign of success. The guy who sang (yelled the song at you) had a terrible haircut, always wore hats, and apparently, was a proud southeastern Michigan native. He had been growing through the Detroit music scene for many years, slowly developing his local fan base until his album Devil Without a Cause found strong success on the national level. At that time, it seemed clear that Kid Rock would be a temporary and annoying distraction until the next Backstreet Boys song hit the streets.

The haircut hasn't changed and he still wears the exact same hats, but Kid Rock has clearly become much more than a temporary and annoying distraction. In fact, he is likely one of the most diverse and popular endearing popular music artists of the last decade. He can and does swing styles from performance to performance, and he has played at events ranging from The Rally to Restore Sanity to Hope for Haiti Now to wherever you can find moonshine across the United States. All the while, The Kid has been a proud and strong representative of Michigan, publicly speaking out on behalf of Michigan and the many good things going on here. Humorously, he often acknowledges something along the lines of "I don't know why you have me here to talk about this. You're the smart ones," but he soldiers on as a good native son.

He took this support farther at the American Music Awards last evening when he performed a song called Times Like These from his new album. Why was I watching the AMAs, you may be thinking. I would never under any circumstance watch the AMAs. I'd rather listen to Bawitdaba. This song was entirely about Michigan, and the performance included images of Michigan behind him throughout the entire song. It was sweet, sincere, and touching to anyone who has any ties to the state and is not a jerk. I have to say that there are lines that don't make a whole lot of sense, like "and even though it's bittersweet, it brings us to our knees" (normally a thought structured in this way would have clearly conflicting elements, but I just don't see it here. Like "Even though I knew it would make me vomit all night, I ate the entire bag of Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips." True story.), but I can look past the simplicity of parts of the song and just appreciate someone out there publicly and extremely visibly positively representing Detroit. It's not that deep and you may not love the song, but I greatly appreciate anyone who is proud to stand up and tell them you're from...Detroit! Who could have possibly guessed 10 years ago that this person would be Kid Rock. I still think he would look way better with a haircut. I really like my barber, Rudy, and I would definitely recommend him if I meet Mr. Rock.

1 comment:

BobA said...

I wasn't watching the AMA's either, but happened to channel surf to that newwork just as Samuel Jackson introduced Kid Rock. Jackson began by mentioning Michigan and then Detroit as I flew by, so I stopped to listen to what he was saying. I don't remember ever actually listening to Kid Rock, but I paused to see what he actually sounded like. It was a good song, a decent voice, a good performance. The lyrics could have been a little more positive in it images of Detroit, but it was clearly a defense of this city. Got to give him credit.