|His name, of course, is Kid…
The one-and-only Kid Rock struts back into the spotlight with "COCKY," the long-awaited follow-up to his 1998 classic, "DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE." Packed with brash tracks like the swaggering first single, "Forever," "COCKY" sees Detroit's Favorite Son doing what he does best - stirring up a multitude of musical styles into his own unique brand of genre-smashing rock n' roll. After heating up radio and MTV with such hits as "Bawitdaba," "Cowboy," "Only God Knows Why," and "American Bad Ass," Kid Rock now takes that unstoppable, undeniable sound to the next level and beyond. From larger-than-life arena anthems like "Lonely Road of Faith," to balls-to-the-wall rockers like "You Never Met A Motherf***er Like Me," the self-produced "COCKY" burns with rambunctious energy, thanks in large part to the always-brawny backing of the Twisted Brown Trucker band, along with special guest shots from Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg. Hilariously funny, powerfully emotional, and utterly unique, "COCKY" is the Bullgod at his rhyming, rocking best - bigger, better, and badder than ever
"Music today is in a big fog," Kid Rock says, "a haze if you will. No one's sure where its going, but I like to think that I've got the best set of fog lights out there."
After nearly three years of nonstop worldwide touring, Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band - guitarists Kenny Olson and Jason Krause, keyboardist Jimmie Bones, and drummer Stefanie Eulinberg - settled into their new Clarkston Chophouse studio in early 2001.
"It's a home we purchased on 13 acres out in Sticksville," he says. "We've got a studio with a vintage analog setup, a Trident board from London, all the bells and whistles. We've got a nice live room with all the cool gear we've collected. And we put all the fun shit in, the legendary strip pole, pool tables and pinball machines and karaoke machines, all that fun stuff. There's some bedrooms too in case anyone has too much to drink."
Over thirty songs were recorded at the Chophouse, most of which were penned during the band's stay at the studio. The bucolic facilities - located "north of Detroit, south of Heaven" - gave Rock and TBT a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere where they could still get their kicks while getting down to the serious business of making a record.
"We spent a lot of time there as a family," says Rock. "Cooking food, riding four-wheelers, throwing horseshoes. We usually have some great jam sessions out there, with Aerosmith coming by, Hank Jr., Billy Gibbons and Tim McGraw. It's turned into kind of a cool place, when people are in town they come by and jam. They know it's gonna be a good time - good music, good food. That's what it's all about."
If there's one thing Kid Rock knows about, it's good times. Since the success of "DEVIL…" the Bad Mamajama From Detroit City has partied with a remarkable range of artists and celebrities, from pornstars to pop icons to presidents. "COCKY" shows off Rock's amazing artistic growth - as singer and songwriter, producer and musician (including guitars, bass, turntables, B3, and more) - which he credits to the influence and inspiration of his musical idols.
"It's three years on the road and being exposed to all the people that we have," Rock says. "It's Hank Jr. teaching me how to play an open G; it's Steven Tyler, you can hear some of his influence on how I'm using my vocal range; it's Billy Gibbons showing me that swamp boogie bounce. We've learned so much from all our heroes over the last few years, it's just elevated us. It's like having great teachers."
The elegiac country-flavored "Picture" sees Kid Rock joined by his friend Sheryl Crow, while the album-closing "WCSR" finds the Kid trading lewd and lascivious raps with none other than Snoop Dogg.
"We could've just gone and filled up the album with a lot of guests," Rock says, "but I think it's a lot more challenging to write a record with just you and your band. But this way, it kinda covers what I am. Some days I'm laidback and focused on my talents like Sheryl Crow, and other days I'm just having a ball, kicking sex rhymes with Snoop, just having fun.
"I mean, talk about completely different sides of the spectrum! With Sheryl it was laidback, we drank some beers, played some songs, had a wonderful time together, everyone enjoyed each other's company, became great friends, and did some jams after that. With Snoop it was just chaos! A bunch of rednecks from Romeo and Snoop's whole crew, all having the time of our lives. It was a scene like no one's ever seen, man! It was great, we had a lot of fun hanging out with those guys."
One person who wasn't around for the making of "COCKY" was Rock's usual musical cohort, Uncle Kracker. As the sessions kicked into high-gear, Twisted Brown Trucker's DJ was busy touring his own RIAA platinum-certified smash album, "DOUBLE WIDE." Nevertheless, Uncle Kracker did manage to make his mark on "COCKY," co-writing a number of the album's tracks.
"He's usually the guy that sits there and has a beer with me, I go 'You like that?' and he goes 'Yes' or 'No' and I make my decision," Rock explains. "This time he was touring a lot, but he did make time. We got together as much as we could to write, do different stuff. I'd bounce tracks off him. A lot of Federal Express was involved."
From the kinetic mayhem of "I'm Wrong, But You Ain't Right" and "I'm A Dog," to the sexed-up soul groove of "Lay It On Me," the album finds Kid Rock working with a stunningly diverse musical paintbox. Hardcore punk rhythms, bluegrass harmonies, and metallic riff-o-rama collide and combine to create an utterly original sonic stew.
"I'm just into cool sounds," Rock says, "whether it's a vocoder or a lap steel, man, they both have these phenomenal sounds to them that I really wanted to capture. I like a wide variety of music, and that's cool in a lot of ways - it might expose people to a lot more music. There's a lot more music than just mine out there that I think people should listen to."
While Kid Rock has long been an outspoken fan of such Southern Rock legends as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band, new songs like "Drunk In The Morning" and the mournful "Midnight Train To Memphis" see him incorporating such down-home instrumentation as harp, banjo, and pedal steel guitar into his twangy hard rock.
"Country and blues is the biggest shit ever," Rock says, "and it always will be. I'm talking about the Stones, Skynyrd, Zeppelin, the biggest bands that ever were had a country and blues influence, that's where it all stems from. Kids might hear my record and not even know what they're listening to. I didn't when I was young, but it became apparent when I became older. This common thread through music was the blues. And country's just the White Man's Blues."
"COCKY" also sees the Pimp Of The Nation styling and profiling with some pumping old school rap-rock. "Forever" and the title track are painted with the spectacular self-aggrandizement and puffed-up braggadocio of such B-Boy legends as LL Cool J and Run DMC.
"I always loved old school hip-hop," Kid Rock laughs. "I just cannot outgrow that. The boasting, the easy-to-understand raps, the very cleverly thought-out words. There's a flow, there's an actual song structure, and a rhythmic structure to the words. There's a lot of new hip-hop I like - like DMX and Jay-Z - but for me, there's just something about that era that I can't get out of."
Like those artists that came before him, Kid Rock's Number One goal is to make music that'll stand the test of time. With the blindingly eclectic "COCKY," he fully delivers on that promise, while raising the ante for the rest of today's rock 'n' roll.
"I want to be making great music that people can listen to in a lot of years," Rock says. "I mean, some songs are the kind that'll be fun for a few years, but then I make other ones like 'What I Learned Out On The Road,' 'Lonely Road of Faith,' songs like that, which I think will last forever. I just want people to know that this record is something I'm really proud of, and I think they are gonna dig it as well."
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"COCKY" is Kid Rock's third label release, following 2000's RIAA 3x-platinum certified "THE HISTORY OF ROCK," and 1998's mega-successful diamond-certified Top Dog/Lava/Atlantic debut, "DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE."