More than any other artist who we’ve honored with word clouds, Limp Bizkit shows a transformation over the course of its career. Actually, it’s Fred Durst’s transformation, from whiny little kid to cranky adult. Here’s what I’m talking about:
The words most utilized on Three Dollar Bill Ya’ll, the band’s debut album, are “counterfeit,” “fake,” “nobody” and “stuck.” These are part of the vocabulary of an angsty teenager–someone who thinks everyone around him is a phony and nobody who understands him. As the albums progress, things move from angsty to angry, with curse words and songs about breaking things filling up the word clouds. Then in 2003, on the band’s fourth album, Limp Bizkit and Fred Durst get downright self-pitying. The word cloud makes it perfectly clear with words like “lonely,” “freak,” “older” and “fight,” all of which Durst uses to further his me-against-the-world storyline. Everybody hates the poor guy and he just can’t get over it.
UNTIL…2005, when, against all odds, Durst seems to be talking about something other than himself. There are lyrics about “truth,” “acceptance” and “terror”–feelings more nuanced than anger, the sole emotion Durst had previously seemed capable of. He sings (or is it raps?) about “priests” and “Hollywood,” showing that he realizes he’s not the only person in the world.
And there you have it: transformation. Fred Durst has evolved. Or so I thought. Then I heard this line from Limp Bizkit’s new album, Gold Cobra: “Never worry if anybody gonna like me, don’t give a damn if anybody give a f***.” Oh, good. Fourteen years and millions of album sales after Durst emerged as a pissed-off kid, he’s still the same guy. All is well.