Hey, did you know Sarah Palin wrote a book? I feel this issue has been very underreported in the mainstream media. I download Sherman Hemsley’s podcast every day, and he hasn’t said boo about it. Plenty about Isabel Sanford and his other fellow cast members from “The Jeffersons,” but not word one concerning the recent literary activities of female Republicans named Sarah. Come on, Sherm, get with the program!
But I digress. Palin’s book is called Going Rogue, and it’s all about how she grew up to be Alaska’s hottest governor and the most controversial Veep candidate since that guy McGovern chose who had the shock therapy (that was McGovern, right?). I haven’t read Rogue, but others have, and I’ve been alerted to a curious sentence on page 300:
Kid Rock, for instance, is very pro-America and has common sense ideas.”
Not sure the context, but whatever. Obviously, no one can ever question Kid Rock’s patriotism—the man loves our country so much he sometimes wears the flag as a poncho—but common sense ideas? Kid Rock? Srsly, 4 reelz? After mulling it over for a few minutes, I decided Sarah P. was right. Kid Rock is brimming with common sense ideas. He has been ever since he first burst on the scene in that lime green track suit oh so many years ago. Let us now take a look at some of these ideas, these core philosophies Mr. Rock has lived by that make him the Thomas Paine of late nineties rap rock:
1. Scream your name as loudly as possible at the beginning of your first major single. How often do you find yourself listening to the initial few seconds of a song and thinking, “Gee, I really like this, but I don’t know who’s singing. I wish they’d take a second to identify themselves so I can enjoy the rest of the music without such a heavy burden on my chest.”? Kid Rock belayed such fear and confusion at the beginning of “Bawitdaba,” the 1999 rocker that introduced a wary nation to the Detroit rapper and his radical platform of “midnight glances at topless dancers.” There could never be any confusion as to who the genius was behind this aggro-dirtbag classic—it was stated clearly and without question before the first verse even began! It’s surprising that the trend of artists shouting their names at the beginning of songs hasn’t become more widespread. You really only hear it in hip-hop, and even there, the performers usually don’t come anywhere near the gusto Kid Rock displayed at the top of “Bawidtaba” (I’ve never heard 50 Cent ripping his lungs up just to say his name).
2. Don’t employ anyone better-looking than you. Ever notice how every member of Kid Rock’s backing band, Twisted Brown Trucker, is basically just some non-descript white guy who’s slightly overweight and dressed like they hit up the clearance rack at Wal-Mart (except, of course, for the black female drummer)? This is no accident. By being the skinniest, most glued-together member of his musical posse, Kid Rock has ensured he’ll never be upstaged at his own show by the likes of Jason Krause or Paradime. Few people remember, but Uncle Kracker was actually bounced from Trucker when he began catching up to Rock’s flashy style and openly challenging the “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp” with dyed hair and lip gloss. That was a dangerous, unstable time. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that episode birthed a new policy within TBT, one that stated only Kid Rock himself was allowed to wear mink stoles with pork pie hats on stage.
3. Piggyback on the most recognizable aspects of pop culture. Kid Rock doesn’t sample obscure break beat records he finds in thrift shops; he samples Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kid Rock doesn’t hire unknown actors to star in his videos; he hires people like Gary Coleman. By incorporating highly trusted and widely recognized entertainment institutions like this into his art, KR has cemented his staying power into the next century. Will “Sweet Home Alabama” ever not be a beer-soaked southern party anthem? No. Will the phrase “Whatchutalkin’bout, Willis?” ever not be a fountain of ebonic hilarity? No. Did Tommy Lee wish he had done a few things differently the week KR got all up in Pamela Anderson’s Kool-Aid? Probably.
4. Don’t be afraid to go soft. Sure, a lot of people like bombastic rock songs about strippers and motocross, but even more people like tender acoustic ballads that espouse love and regret (not to mention love-based regret, and regret-filled love). Kid Rock knows this, which is why he’s occasionally put aside his crotch-grabbing, pyrotechnic-enhanced antics for a more “adult contemporary” sound. Efforts like 2003’s “Picture,” a country-tinged duet with Sheryl Crowe, have helped Kid Rock infiltrate areas usually off-limits to cigar-chomping white rappers from Detroit (read: Nashville, the Super Bowl, Pamela Anderson). Call me crazy, but I don’t think Rock was allowed to perform with Jerry Lee Lewis that one year at the Grammys because Jerry was a huge fan of “American Bad Ass.”
5. Don’t be afraid to play golf. Recently, Kid Rock has been spotted playing golf. As we all know, golf is the premiere sport of the rich and powerful, a game that swims in money and influence. By rubbing elbows on the links with society’s upper crust, KR is sure to have his ideas heard by those who can get things done. It’s surely only a matter of time before we see the word “Radiohead” actually printed on commercial toilet paper.
Now don’t get me wrong—I still have my reservations about Kid Rock (namely, his insistence on using a giant “U” instead of the proper “you”). However, if Sarah Palin is setting Rock up as potential running mate for 2012, she has my support. If anyone’s perfectly qualified to be Sarah Palin’s Vice President, it’s Kid Rock.