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Sunday September 25th

Crow, Snoop Dogg Provide Fresh Air for Otherwise Dreary Kid Rock Return

Kid Rock
Cocky

Kid Rock introduced himself in his 1998 single "Bawitdaba" with his infamous line "My name is Kiiiiiiiiiiiid Rock!" In his new effort, Cocky, the world gets to know him a little better.

But that might not be a good thing.

Yes, there is more talk of his exploits with women, drinking and drugging. Tiring as this mixture might be, Rock manages to make it interesting for at least part of the album.

In the first single "Forever," Rock raps about his mixture of rock and hip-hop, his wealth and best of all, Oprah and Al Roker.

Rock boasts of his huge rhymes and quips, "thick like Al Roker/pumping out hits getting chips like Oprah." -- there are few things more frightening than hearing America's talk show matriarch evoked through the wiles of "Kiiiiiiiiiiiid Rock!"

His social commentary adds some humorous lyrics to the album, but his collaborations with Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg make it something a little different from other rap-rockers.

Crow joins Rock on the country-tinged "Picture," while on "WCSR" Rock raps with Snoop Dogg.

While Crow's song might be more thoughtful than the sex-driven tune with Snoop, both songs provide evidence of Rock's diversity.

Although he didn't collaborate with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rock meshes a guitar riff from "Freebird" into the funky "You Never Met a Mother****** Like Me."

Beginning with slow, bluesy melodies infused with deep bass beats and electronic sounds, the song sounds like a departure from Rock's style.

But when the chorus begins, so do Rock's raspy screams, which is disappointing considering the song's potential. Wasted opportunities abound throughout Cocky because on many tracks he uses the same formula of slow exposition leading to a screaming, hard rocking chorus.

"You Never Met a Motherf**ker Like Me" speaks of Rock's love for being at home, and his fame, including the lyrics "Now I been on the cover of the Rolling Stone/Now I met the president when I was half stoned."

This song isn't the last interaction between a president and Rock. In the closing track of the album, Rock kicks his "sex rhymes" with Snoop Dogg and tells a tale including a stewardess, Bill Clinton and himself. The lyrics aren't printable, so this one you've got to hear for yourself.

Initially, the mixing of Rock's intense raps with Snoop Dogg's laid-back sound make for a great song, especially with the funny sexual references to Clinton.

But after the lyrics Snoop and Rock serve up, the song slowly descends into a headache-inducing, droning beat with too many references to ecstasy, weed and Cristal champagne.

Aspects of Rock's new album are great, but in a few ways it falls short. The various tempo changes diversify his songs, but the album contains too many of them matched with too similar subject matter. It's like three-day leftovers -- Rock made way too much of the same thing.

After all, you can only have so much T & A before getting bored.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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