Hi-fi Friday ~ An Open Letter to the Artist Formerly Known As Kid Rock…

Dear Kid Rock Robert Ritchie,

Back in 1998, I heard this tune on the radio and had no clue what was being said at the beginning… it went something like, “Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy…” Made no sense… but then it slowed down and then cranked back up with the artist clearly proclaiming who he was. His name was… KID…. ROCK! That was you! Right?

It was a kick ass tune! I immediately ran out to pick up the CD, “Devil Without a Cause,” and was blown away! It was a mix of hard rock and rap with a twist of southern rock; a perfect mix, in my opinion. I listened to that CD off and on for a while… It actually helped me discover Eminem!

The following year I stumbled across this performance of the above song at the ’99 reincarnation of Woodstock:

Holy shit! Lots of energy there! I was hooked!

In 2000, Kid Rock you had another CD come out, “The History of Rock.”

I liked that one a lot too! Same mix of hard rock and hip hop as “Devil”, but it also included some tunes from your earlier stuff that, honestly, I didn’t even know existed. That material was more rap-rock… but still good!

The best tune off of “History” was, in my opinion, “American Badass.”

That shit makes me wanna fight! That’s the Kid Rock I got hooked on…

Well, in 2001, Kid Rock’s your next CD came out, titled “Cocky.” It was pretty good, but was definitely getting away from your roots and leaning into true country music.  I always like the angry stuff on your CDs, but there was very little of it on here.

The big hit on this one was “Picture,” a duet you did with Sheryl Crow. I’ll admit, it’s an amazing song and I really like it… so let’s stick that video on here too!

It gets ugly from here on out…

2003’s release of your self titled album, “Kid Rock” was the one that sounded the least like the real Kid Rock so far. There were a couple good tunes on it, but working with Hank Williams Jr., Kenny Chesney and David Allen Coe really messed your stuff up. Trust me… I like all of those artists, but you are not them, so why try to emulate ’em?

2007’s “Rock n Roll Jesus” was the true transition away from the real Kid Rock and into full on country music.

I’ve got no problem with country music, I like country. It’s just that I don’t wanna hear my country from Kid Rock. Leave that to the country singers!

Listen, Kid Rock Mr. Ritchie, I’m also a fan of Aerosmith, who has been around for over 40 years. Over those years they’ve had several different sounds. A couple weeks ago they released an album that is a nice mix of their sounds over the years.

That’s what you need to do. If ya wanna become a Nashville star, then so be it, but don’t forget where you came from. Dabbling in genres is one thing, but switching altogether? You just might lose your base…

Best of luck,

~ Greg


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