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Classic Album Review: Kid Rock | Cocky

The white rapper morphs into a southern boogie-rocker — and mostly pulls it off.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


“It ain’t bragging, motherf—er, if you can back it up,” notes the ever-subtle, ever-humble Kid Rock on the aptly named title cut of his spanking new album.

And damned if he doesn’t back up that boast throughout this skillful, funky and slightly more mature followup to his ’98 breakthrough disc Devil Without A Cause. After gaining fame as a white-boy rapper a la Eminem, Robert Ritchie has now evolved (or devolved, depending on your view) into a southern boogie-rock mack daddy. So while tunes like Forever and WCSR find Kid revisiting the familiar white-trash metal formula, others like Lay it On Me, What I Learned Out On The Road and Baby Come Home see him reining in the Beastie Boys-style yelling in favour of a fusion of Skynyrd-soaked guitar-rock and Detroit soul grooves, sizzlingly reeled off by his Twisted Brown Trucker band. In addition, country-infused ballads like Lonely Road of Fame, Midnight Train to Memphis and Picture (with Sheryl Crow) show even a man like Kid has his soft side. To put it in Bawitdaba terms, Cocky has less bang-da-bang and more diggy-diggy. He might have good reason to be cocky.