There are certain times in my life that I don’t like to think about. Moments that I prefer to believe never happened, for example, my entire life from the ages of thirteen to fifteen.
Coincidentally, two of the most maligned bands to have ever spawned in my lifetime came to prominence during this period: Creed and Limp Bizkit.
Now the late 90s early 00s weren’t exactly the best of times in world of music. Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Korn, Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray; just a few of the big name groups of the day that I wouldn’t listen to for even 10 seconds if I passed them on the radio dial today.
History has mostly forgotten these people. Most disbanded and their hits are rarely played at stations or on TV. The only time they are usually mentioned at all is as kitsch, a reminder of the quickly faded style and persona of the time (think baggy clothes, ridiculous headgear, and everything in neon and pastels).
One band that has not been remembered quite so fondly are the gentlemen that were Creed. The band, along with their musical stylings, were the targets of frequent criticisms not only from music critics who dubbed them a poor man’s Pearl Jam with Christian rock undertones, but also from fans and fellow musicians.
Creed, particularly its lead singer Scott Stapp, were notorious for being aloof, arrogant, and obsessed with shoehorning a messianic message into everything the band did (often involving Stapp himself being made to look like the messiah).
Still, in spite of the band’s music becoming progressively more insufferable as they became more popular, Creed was one of the most successful band of the generation.
I personally think that fame and success were the worst possible things that could have happened to Creed. Their first album, My Own Prison, is a dark, self loathing thing. Written by Stapp when his life had reached rock bottom and he believed God was testing him or punishing him for past sins (or something, probably). My Own Prison is a pretty good rock album, and I stand by that. You won’t find many people willing to give it a chance because of the stigma around Creed, but it is.
But in Creed’s follow-up Human Clay things were… different (worse, way worse). It was clear pretty quickly that Stapp not only didn’t think God was testing him anymore but that he had passed the test with flying colors and now it was time for him to reap his reward: just being better than everyone else in general.
The lyrics of the songs are down right schmaltzy at times and the music is much more uplifting, heroic, and self righteous, basically destroying everything that made My Own Prison interesting.
Worst of all, you can here Stapp’s holier than thou attitude oozing out of every line. Take these lyrics from the song “Arms Wide Open”:
Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face
I am the greatest
Under the sunlight
I am freakin’ perfect man
God loves me more than you
I am the greatest
And you all know it
Jesus died on the cross
Because he was bummed I wasn’t born yet
I can see why he rubbed people the wrong way.
And then there was Limp Bizkit.
Some things you look back on and you say, “How could we not see it.” Limp Bizkit sucking is just one of those things.
Creed was a little obnoxious, but more than anything else they were just one of those benign lame modern rock bands that everyone just ignores. I can’t even think the name Limp Bizkit without feeling disgusted for myself and society. I mean, what the hell kind of name is that? It sounds like the sort of thing a thirteen-year-old skater wannabe punk would name his band, but even he would then realize it was retarded a week later.
There were just so many things about Limp Bizkit that were awful. Can anyone name a bigger tool in the history of the world than Fred Durst? A fat, goatee’d, angry, white guy, whose lasting marks on society were a backward baseball cap and the song “Nookie.” Remember when he performed at the VMA’s with Christina Aguilera and then, after everyone called him a sellout for it, claimed he only did it quote, “for the nookie?” What a class act, this guy.
Seriously, watch the music video for “Nookie” if you don’t want to kill yourself by the time you get to the 2nd chorus, then you should probably kill yourself.
The lyrics in "rollin" make Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba" seem like Shakespeare.
Beyond their sheer lack of talent and ample middle school level buffoonery, Limp Bizkit was also awful on a societal level.
Watch the music video for “Break Stuff” on Youtube, or better yet, read the comments posted. Limp Bizkit just degrades people’s intelligence to the most base, uncivilized, animalistic level. You would probably get death threats from the other people on the thread just for using proper grammar. Just look at what they did to Woodstock 99’… at least, what they did with the help of maybe the greediest promoters ever to not come out of a monster flick. They just bring out the worst in people.
And so, I submit this to the jury as evidence that while I do not endorse the music of Creed, they are in fact nowhere near as awful or offensive as that of Limp Bizkit.
At least Creed had one decent album.
Listening to Limp Bizkit just makes me want to put a gun in my mouth. Luckily, listening to Limp Bizkit also instantly kills the number of brain cells required to successfully operate a firearm. So at least, there’s that.
Just in case you still think Limp Bizkit has any talent whatsoever, observe this auto-tuned massacring of a classic.