It is duly noted that I am a child of the ’90s — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and if there was ever a time to be an angry white teenager in high school, it was 1999. After the immodest success of a burgeoning nu-metal music scene, escape was eventually futile. Lines were drawn in MTV airwaves of American youth: the pop radio savvy (N*Sync, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys), and those who wanted to “break stuff”.
Limp Bizkit’s sophomore (and some might argue “sophomoric”) guest-laden disasterpiece, Significant Other, was released in June of 1999; by the onslaught of “Nookie” on terrestrial modern rock FM stations, every male student I knew in school owned a red Yankees fitted cap, and if that wasn’t enough for labels, they’d likely chant the chorus in a now-defunct high school smoking section. Recently, I’ve come across that same album on cassette, only to pop it in with mild hesitation, soon after. My 14-year-old self was unleashed from its audible time capsule, becoming the catalyst for this Guilty Pleasure confession.
I am a fan. Like it, or not.
It amazes me how much boasting Fred Durst actually did on this album, how much lame machismo he conveyed. Considering his has-been status, his position of not being taken all that seriously these days, it’s somewhat funny. Strangely, all the same, one cannot deny the effectively catchy (if not occasionally cheesy) lyrics on Significant Other. The lyrics to every song have the current-events validity of a shoddy doodle from the back-page of a worn composition notebook, yet banging my head on Wes Borland’s riffs comes all-natural (as does shouting along, karaoke-style).
Novelty worth in a decade-old scuffed package, Limp Bizkit had some stupidly fun music, despite Durst’s absurd rantings about life on the mean streets of Jacksonville, Florida (“Trust?”), being a walking ATM (“I’m Broke”), spitefully reminding an ex-girlfriend that her cheatin’ ass was only worth sex to him anyway (please, you know what song that is). Some of these tunes were the rap-rock equivalents of Steve Urkel’s catchphrase: “I don’t have to take this. I’m going home.”
Only Limp Bizkit could churn out hit after manufactured hit about everything from being “worth more than” sex to name-dropping half the United States. My favorite song to date off of this album is still, by far, “N 2 Gether Now” — namely because, unlike Fred, I respect Method Man’s talent as an established rapper. Another being that stupid-ass music video with Pauly Shore as the pizza delivery guy, and Durst versus Meth in a sword fight over the remote control. Seriously, I ask myself often how LB even got him on the track to begin with. It’s understood that Durst and KoRn’s Jonathan Davis had a standing union as fellows in the same musical genre of sorts, but where does Method Man come in? Would he do it again today, should Limp Bizkit attempt another guest-heavy pop record?
During the past nine years, I’ve seen this album in clearance racks across the country; there are those like myself who still find charm in such a piece of nostalgic memorabilia, but moreover, I am a self-professed fan of that era in music. Fact is, somewhere deep down in our minds, we all like to scream “you can take that cookie, and stick it up your…” in the car when no one’s around. Admit it, for they say that’s the first step to recovery.