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[whitespace] Fred Durst
Dissed to the Nines: Nine Inch Nails get roasted by Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit on new 'Chocolate St*rfish' album.

Keeping The Faith

Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst is rich and famous--so what's he so upset about?

By Sarah Quelland

IN THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE of Alternative Press, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst tells actor Ben Stiller he can remember when he was homeless with nothing but a skateboard and a backpack. Now pushing 30, Durst is a senior vice president at Interscope Records, head of his own Flawless label and the outspoken leader of one of the most successful bands around. Just look what a little "Faith" can do.

While Three Dollar Bill Y'all$ (banking on the kitschy George Michael cover) jump-started the ascent of this band from Jacksonville, Fla., the six-times-platinum-selling Significant Other cemented Limp Bizkit's status as one of rock's chosen warriors, with the monster hit "Nookie" and the popular singles "Break Stuff" and "Re-arranged."

Limp Bizkit takes it even further with its latest creation, Chocolate St*rfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (Flip/Interscope), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. And Durst sure gets his licks in. The music mogul and self-styled voice of a generation (which he calls "Generation Strange" on the anthemlike single "My Generation") crucifies everyone from music critics to Trent Reznor in his lyrics.

The album kicks off with "Hot Dog," an aggressive evaluation of the word "fuck" and Durst's very personal reaction to Nine Inch Nails' "Starfuckers, Inc." (Reznor wrote the song with his former protégé Marilyn Manson in mind, but in the video he smashes plates with celebrity faces--Durst's included--printed on them).

Using Reznor's own songs as ammunition, Limp Bizkit appropriates portions of NIN's "Closer," and Durst delivers an amalgamate parody of Reznor's lyrics: "You wanna fuck me like an animal/You'd like to burn me on the inside/You like to think that I'm a perfect drug/Just know that nothing you do will bring you closer to me."

Durst has been very vocal about his public feuds with Reznor, Creed and Metallica. Lyrics like "You gotta hate that a demo from an 8-track brought me to a place where platinum comes in eight stacks" ("Getcha Groove On") seem very specific, as does the warning on "Full Nelson": "Don't even know me, and still you're talkin' shit about me/One of these days I'm gonna catch you in the act, in the act red-handed caught up in the act, punk/And that'll be the day, the one and only day, then step your ass up and say it right to my face."

Limp Bizkit knows how to launch an album, and "Rollin'" serves as Chocolate St*arfish's equivalent to "Nookie." Picking up where Significant Other's get-up-and-jump "9 Teen 90 Nine" left off, "Rollin'" plays like a Limp Bizkit version of the hokeypokey on which Durst appeals to a mass audience with "Move in now move out, hands up now hands down, back up back up, tell me what you gonna do now/Breathe in now breathe out, hands up now hands down, back up back up, tell me what you gonna do."

THIS SAVVY BUSINESSMAN (who's recently been given the green light to direct Runt, a film said to have Fight Club's David Fincher on board) has a real knack for connecting with his young fans.

It's no wonder. He presents himself as an ally through rebellious lyrics like "I'm a keep my pants sagging, keep a skateboard, a spray can for the taggin'" (from "Livin' It Up" which samples from the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane").

Chocolate St*rfish is heavier and more aggressive than Significant Other; and the lyrics are more focused. But even while moving forward, the album refers to Significant Other by incorporating signature parts of "Nookie" into "Hot Dog" and other effective tricks. If it weren't for the language, nearly every track would be destined for the radio. As it stands, Limp Bizkit released "Rollin'" and "My Generation" at the same time--a brilliantly calculated marketing move that's allowed the band to dominate influential shows like MTV's Total Request Live and local countdowns like 104.3 FM KMBY's "Top 8 at 8." The melancholy love song "The One" will likely be the next single.

With "Livin' It Up" dedicated to Ben Stiller (how's that for kissing someone's, er, starfish?), the unabashedly egocentric album features guest vocalists Xzibit ("Getcha Groove On") and Scott Weiland ("Hold On") and unites DMX, Method Man and Redman on the "Urban Assault Vehicle" version of "Rollin.'"

Significant Other ended with segments from MTV's Matt Pinfield and Primus' Les Claypool, and Chocolate St*rfish concludes similarly with an obnoxious tirade by Stiller and a hidden track of a phone conversation between Durst and Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins and chummy messages left on Durst's answering machine by rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg and pro-skateboarder Rob Dyrdek.

On "9 Teen 90 Nine," Durst claimed that to him the stage was the top of the world. But even from that place "where platinum comes in eight stacks" it sounds like he still thinks he has something to prove.

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From the November 23-29, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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