Up and down, up and down, the boat pushes through the waves. When he first sat down, Kid Rock was holding the armrests with the assurance he brings to most actions, large or small, as though it were the armrests' privilege to be supporting his forearms. Though he is the only one to need the bucket, most of us are feeling rough, and no one says much until we clamber ashore. Kid Rock is talking about his show-stealing performance at the Grammys, which began with him alone at the piano singing "Only God Knows Why." It was the first time he'd ever played a piano in public, so he was shitting himself, but the song quickly merged into the stuff that doesn't scare him at all: rock and rap and fireworks and American flags and a motorbike with his three-foot-nine sidekick Joe C in the sidecar, and a medley of "Bawitdaba" and Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band," the latter with revised Kid Rock lyrics: "We come into your town/We pull your panties down/We're an American band." "That whole song is perfect," he says.
And now – on this blustery, sundrenched Wednesday in Jamaica, beer in his hand, sharks on his mind, his freshly braided hair swinging in the wind – he assumes his position as the king of the sea. Then he reaches for a plastic bucket and begins vomiting. "Smell his breath," he advises the girl.), but they have taken the opportunity to enjoy a week's rest in the sun. Right now their boombox blares "No Woman, No Cry," turned up to drown out the hotel's Eurodisco.
After twenty minutes, Kid Rock gestures to the crew. "I always come and rock their award shows better than anybody else, don't win anything and get stupid people to present me who make fun of it," he explains.
Now he is simply holding on, and his fingers desperately grip for a kind of control the armrests can't supply. "Awww, that sucked my ass," Kid Rock laughs and shakes his head. Now I got to go and eat again." Questions occasioned by puzzling or provocative moments in the Kid Rock lyrical canon, Number One [with particular reference to "Start an escort service for all the right reasons/And set up shop at the top of Four Seasons" – "Cowboy," 1999]: What are the right reasons to open an escort service? "It just says nothing except, ' We're coming to your town, throwing a party, we're going to tear it down, bye – we're an American band.' That's badass."He says that award ceremonies always seem to go the same way for him.
"They'd move the salad bar out of the way," he recalls, "and we'd get down." He could do most of the moves – "head spins, windmills, knee skins, the worm, the wave, poppin', lockin', the funkateer" – though he always had trouble with the "1990" spinning-on-one-hand move. But for now rap's the occupation/But one day, watch, I'll be pimp of the nation" – "Pimp of the Nation," 1990; "Cuz there's no contest for the pimp, I'm the pimp of the nation/So fuck college and a good education" – "Killin' Brain Cells," 1993; "I be the early-mornin' stoned pimp/Straightlimpin' Boone's Farm-drinkin'/At the party big booty pinching" – "E. "When they come to my shows, it's a release," Kid Rock says. There's no country to save, no donation to be made. "Twist my arm."She slips down her bikini top; Kid Rock holds her left breast and faces the camera. "He was too small." (Joe C prefers not to travel much.)Behind me, the stomach-stroking girl, clearly in a bad mood because her attentions have not produced more concrete results, mouths to her friend, "I want to fuck him."Some of the girls – but not her – ride on the bus back to the hotel. "My brother is the biggest fucking instigator in the world. In the next few years they had good times and bad times, and neither of them behaved impeccably.
He started rapping introductions for the members of his crew. "I was never good with names," he says." When people started calling me Kid Rock, I thought that was cool."Questions occasioned by puzzling or provocative moments in the Kid Rock lyrical canon, Number Two [with particular reference to lyrics including but not limited to: "And because I do so much pimpin'/One day I'll probably walk with a limp . Her friend asks for the same, so he stands behind her, cupping both breasts. "That was so sweet." (Later, I ask him what he is thinking at moments like these. One of them hands out Skittles and talks about her homework. ' It's like you want to slip someone a note: ' I like you – do you like me? Return.'"When he got back to Michigan, he realized he was missing her a bit. He couldn't wait to run that in: ' Listen to what Bobby wrote! She got pregnant again, and a little girl was born on the front seat of his car. Only then did he learn that the little girl he had been bringing up as his daughter wasn't his. Kid Rock plays and sings along to some of the latest ZZ Top album – "The best record I've heard this year." He plays two songs he did with Run DMC, "Know What I'm Saying" and "School of Old," then an old song of his own, "Warm Winter," which sounds more like Nine Inch Nails than anything else and which is going to be on the sound-track to "I did it five years ago, just fucking around," he grins.
And if I have any sort of influence over kids at all, I would say it's very un-fucking cool.It's hard to grow up in the shadow of that, and not just in the most obvious and compassionate sense. It's that one scene of a couple of girls without a lot of clothes, hanging out; a few guys you don't know, sitting in the corners of the room with their hat low, and the sun's coming up. Sitting on his throne, right on his bed, sipping a Budweiser or something, feeling mighty fine. "Put that in your article, so I can remember it."It's midafternoon, and they perform in the blazing sunshine. You should give me your number.""I probably should," Kid Rock replies. I kind of think I've done all that, and I did it about as good as you can do it. "Yep, Bob passed me the torch," Jason later reflects. He says he went to the Cayman Islands on a family vacation when he was about twelve, and winces. "I didn't really like being around my dad when I was young," he says. He was always good at making you feel stupid in front of people." He wants to make sure I won't make too much of this. I'm not going to write songs about it for the rest of my life."ne account of Kid Rock's relationship with his father can be found in his song "My Oedipus Complex," first released in 1996. You tried to make me think your ways were best/When all I was was an outlet for all your stress." He concludes, "All you ever gave a damn about was money, see/So now fuck you, man, you ain't shit to me/And it's the day that I die of this hate that I'm free." Then, just to twist the song one notch weirder, Kid Rock acts out his father replying to his son, apologizing in a way, explaining how he grew up poor and worked his ass off, and how he's always loved his son and wishes his son didn't resent him so. That was pretty sweet."True, but this encounter prompts some other questions. But probably in public, rampin' it out in magazines and doing it on shows, he's probably not too appreciative of that. He was from a middle-class family; she was from a troubled background: "Her momma was . "It might have been right, it might have been wrong/But one thing's for sure, it really fucked his head up." Later, she moved to the city, still seeing the white guy on the side, but she was mostly with a black dope dealer."He was always the center of attention," Kid Rock confesses, "so I'm sure I was always trying to: ' Hey! '"In high school, he put together a break-dance crew; they would play weddings and got sponsored by the local Burger King. And, in the midst of this, the early-morning stoned pimp is . They play their hits and a few covers: Sublime's "What I Got," a medley of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" and "We're an American Band," a Detroitcentric version of country renegade David Allan Coe's "Son of the South." The crowd is small, but it all works well enough. Show your tits if you're a girl, drink some beers if you're a guy."After the show, Kid Rock goes out to meet a gaggle of overeager fans."I want a topless picture – would it be top much? Kid Rock is already topless; she means herself."OK," says Kid Rock. "And the chance of me giving it is probably slim to none."The guy grins, slaps his hand. One girl asks why Joe C isn't here."They wouldn't let him in," he says. I had a lot of fun, man; nobody got hurt, I'd like to think. "It's the same shit I'm sure a lot of kids have gone through," he says. He wrote most of it on Highway 80, driving back and forth between Detroit and New York, rapping to himself alone in the car: "You never loved me, you never held me tight . After he recorded it, Kid Rock didn't send his father the song. For instance, last year he was in the habit of announcing from stage that as political as he got was the knowledge that "Monica Lewinsky is a fuckin' ho, and Bill Clinton is a goddamned pimp."Did you mention to him your theory that he's a pimp? I would love to, if ever he's got some time; I'd love to sit down and speak with him about it. She got pregnant by the dope dealer; when he was sent to jail, she hooked back up with the white guy, and they started raising her son together."Fucking walked around drinking forties, man, eating pork rinds, hanging out at the barbershop, riding the bus to Detroit to get records, hanging out with the guys selling drugs on the street."He went back home for the beginning of the school year but ran away again the next summer. Don't ever touch it – it'll fuck your whole life up."So what are you thinking about the fact that you're selling it, fucking people's lives up? There's no way to justify it – it's wrong. It's just a bunch of people that want it, that are going to get it from this guy if I don't sell it to them. "Nobody's going to take this fucking kid from me. the Chesapeake Bay box." He says he also likes to pick up home-décor stuff from truck stops. I like a lot of material things."Junior and Kid Rock's sister Carol come in. "That's fucking really, really good," says Kid Rock after a gently devastating one called "Time Stood Still." Another, "Nothing Good About Goodbye," includes the couplet "and you'll get the children/that we had together." "Uh-uh," interrupts Kid Rock, shaking his head. We could put that together in fifteen minutes."Kid Rock starts playing a simple boogie rhythm.That was when he started selling a few drugs himself. "Do you know how many records you can buy with 0 at .99 a twelve-inch, three for ten bucks sometimes? Were you thinking – about the people you were selling to – "Oh, these are a bunch of losers"? I got all my documents from everyone involved, neighbors to teachers – everything. well, it's hard not to notice that in "Only God Knows Why" he doesn't refer to Junior as his son but as his "youngest son." "I remember writing that song," he says, "and I was, ' Fuck it.'"He knows that many people will take all that they know about Kid Rock and wonder how, if it is all true, he can be a fine and responsible father. His mother is helping redecorate his house outside of Detroit, and it drives her crazy. They're going shopping."I've got twenty-one dollars," Junior announces."You're going to tear it up at Costco? When they've gone, he sips his coffee and stares out over the lawn into the woods. "That's on the list of things to do this week," he says. "Take this job and shove it, up your ass," he sings.Instead he got a drum machine and, later, some turntables. it's an alter ego, a persona kind of thing I like to have fun with. to wear a hat, go round in a big Lincoln or a big Caddy with spokes on it and have a few girls on your arms or have people dancing. Because I've met some really nasty women in this lifetime, and those types of women I have no type of respect for. Because a real woman listens to it and she's, "Whatever, I know who I am."But, to clarify, you don't agree that as a general rule you're hateful toward women? He spent the night there with Kracker, Jason and some other friends after their celebrations on the day they were signed to Atlantic Records mutated into a bar brawl. "People don't research these things." It's his new goal; he keeps the brochures by his bed. Setting people up and watching them fall, in a roundabout way where no one gets hurt, is fun.