Kid Rock

Bawitdaba

Composed by Jason Krause / Kid Rock / Mark Schafer

Song Review by

Kid Rock kicked around for years before he had an unexpected success in 1999 with his fourth album, Devil Without a Cause. Why then, why that record? "Bawitadaba" was the reason why. Before that song, rap-rock was really better in theory than in practice. For nearly a decade, groups had hacked out a rather anemic blend of metal riffs, hip-hop beats, and wack raps. Kid Rock wasn't innocent in this matter, either. At times, some got closer to nirvana than others -- certain critics will argue to the death that Rage Against the Machine was a cathartic blast of noise -- but nothing hit like "Bawitadaba." The reason? It's a rock song -- a behemoth, actually, towering above any other hard rock of the last portion of the '90s. Kid -- and his name is Kid, as he reminds us over and over again in the song -- raps, but his band, the Dirty Brown Trucker Band, doesn't pay that any mind. They rock, rock harder than anyone had in years. But "Bawitadaba" isn't even a triumph of riff over matter, it's an organic onslaught of sound. Try separating the riff from the rhythm or Kid's vocals -- it's impossible, since none of it works on its own. That said, Kid Rock had never been as clever on record as he was here -- the shout-out to "all my heroes in the methadone clinics," the "half-pints of love and the fifths of stress," and the exhortation to "get in the pit and try to love someone" are all subtle masterpieces of pop culture riffing. But these are things you notice later, after you stop chanting "up jump the boogie," while forgetting where that line came from (Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," for those of you keeping score). And it would be many spins later on this ingenious blend of first-rate song and sound.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Devil Without a Cause 1998 Warner Bros.
Free Air, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
GoBig! 4:25
Bootleg Live On-Air: Generic Version 1999
Various Artists
Restaurant Records 4:24
Woodstock 1999 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:16
Totally Hits 1999
Various Artists
Arista 4:26
Big Shiny Tunes, Vol. 4 1999
Various Artists
JVC Victor 4:26
Grammy Nominees 2000 2000
Various Artists
RCA 4:26
Ready to Rumble 2000
Original Soundtrack
143 Records / Atlantic 3:49
The History of Rock 2000 Atlantic
No Image 2001 Phantom Import Distribution
Noize 2001
Various Artists
Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / WEA International 3:31
Kerrang: Life Is Loud 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / PolyGram 3:31
Bawitdaba Pt. 1 2001 Atlantic
Live Trucker 2006 Atlantic / Top Dog Records 5:44
Monster Hits 2000 2006
Various Artists
BMG
All Summer Long 2008 Atlantic 5:44
No Image 2015 Warner Bros. 4:27
CMJ New Music, Vol. 63
Various Artists
College Media
No Image Wonder Boy
No Image
Original Soundtrack
Rhino 3:48
Totally Hits [Sony]
Various Artists
BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment
blue highlight denotes editor's pick