I DON'T KNOW how to reconcile the fact that, at one point in my life, I genuinely loved Limp Bizkit. The summer between eighth and ninth grade, I—without a shred of shame or irony—fucking WORE OUT Significant Other. Wes Borland was the ferryman who transported me across the River Styx, from middle school to high school, past Cerberus, who wore three backward New York Yankees hats atop his three soul-patched heads.
I had different eras of appreciation for that album. Starting, of course, with "Nookie," which I honestly didn't know was a euphemism for vagina. (The fact that cookie was ALSO another word for vagina was years beyond my understanding. Why is "ookie" associated with female anatomy? How does this affect our understanding of The Addams Family? IS THAT WHY SCUMMY DUDES ON THE MAX WEAR COOKIE MONSTER HATS?) "Nookie" does not hold up, at all. Not even almost a little bit. "Nookie" sounds like a wizard turned sports radio into a nu-metal song. Fred Durst whining his way through some ol' bullshit that's so lazy you almost forget it's misogynistic—so misogynistic you almost forget it's terrible, but it is terrible AND misogynistic y lazy también.
The next strata in this garbage lasagna was "Break Stuff," which remains interesting mostly for the fact that Fred Durst is like "Perhaps your fucking face!" Oh, perhaps! Perhaps! Perhaps your fucking face. Durst is Dr. Jekyll AND Mr. Hyde, you guys.
Then there's the song "Re-Arranged"... I mean, the bass and drums are kind of fun, right? I DON'T THINK this is just me straining for the copper wire of credulity in the burned-down meth house that was this album. It's kind of bouncy and fun, right? Like, what if a good rapper rapped over that? That could be the worst song on a decent album, right?
No? Fair enough, because "N 2 Gether Now" is DEFINITELY copper wire. It's a really good DJ Premier beat! DJ Premier from Gang Starr! I can still say, at 30, that I enjoy DJ Premier. "Oh hey, Ian, who was your favorite band in 1999?" somebody asked. "Oh, great question. Mostly DJ Premier," replied Ian, almost 100 percent lying.
The problem with "N 2 Gether Now" is that the artist Fred Durst is, of course, still singing. It's such a bummer. Method Man is also on this track, it should be mentioned, and he's not at his best. However, even Method Man with a hot hanger shoved up his ass, nuts laid out on a dresser and banged with a spiked bat, tongue stabbed with a rusty screwdriver, hanging by his dick out of a 12-story building, asshole sewn shut while someone keeps feeding him and feeding him and feeding him is still VASTLY more skilled and charming and capable than Fred Durst. I know the point of the track was probably to lend Wu-Tang credibility to Limp Bizkit—but it does nothing but highlight the vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast gulf between the two entities.
When my mother was 14 years old she liked the Beatles. When my brother was 14 years old he liked Metallica and NWA and Too Short. I would love to say, "Well, Ian, your mom and brother are way cooler than you"—but it isn't that simple. My generation has to deal with the fact that, no matter how much indie currency we've since shoved into our wallet, it will never completely cover Three Dollar Bill, Y'all.