Kid Rock

The Polyfuze Method

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In 1990, Kid Rock landed a 100,000 dollar record deal with Jive, only to be unceremoniously kicked to the curb when Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast, his corny debut, was much less than a blockbuster. Displaying the pluck that would contribute to his eventual stardom, Rock was undeterred by the chilly reception. He moved to New York City, signed on with indie label Continuum, and in 1993 released The Polyfuze Method. While it isn't much better than its predecessor, the album doesn't swipe as shamelessly from established hip-hop acts, and represents a significant leap forward not only in the development of Kid Rock's unlikely mixture of classic rock, hip-hop, and country influences, but his own trailer-park pimp-daddy persona. While the 2 Live Crew-style bass workouts of Grits Sandwiches aren't as prominent, The Polyfuze Method does borrow liberally from the militant, congested sound of Public Enemy, as well as N.W.A. However, Rock isn't even in the same lyrical universe as Chuck D, so the influence doesn't seem like blatant theft. If anything, Polyfuze Method's beefed-up production is a plus, as it strengthens Kid's occasionally weak raps by shouldering some of the centralizing pressure. "Killin' Brain Cells" features big percussion and a funky guitar sample underneath lines like: "People wanna know what I'm thinkin'/But I don't care/So I keep my thoughts in a bottle of Cuervo." The song foreshadowed the confluence of blind bravado, hard liquor, and rocking beats that would become such a successful formula with 1998's Devil Without a Cause. "Prodigal Son," "The Cramper," and "Fuck You Blind" feature similar sounds and themes; the latter's live guitar and percussion was a definite break from the prevailing hip-hop sound in 1993. Unfortunately, these relatively promising tracks can't save The Polyfuze Method. The album's second half is plenty raunchy, but songs like "Balls in Your Mouth" can't get by with lurid porn samples alone. The unfortunate slow jam "My Oedipus Complex" isn't good for anyone, either. The Rock himself may have delivered the final verdict on The Polyfuze Method. Many of its better songs were later re-released on the post-Devil Without a Cause retrospective History of Rock. However, they were also re-recorded or largely reworked by Kid and his new band, Twisted Brown Trucker. Despite its strong suggestion of what was to come, Polyfuze Method doesn't really go anywhere.

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