Follow TV Tropes


Music / Devil Without a Cause

Go To
'Cause it's been a long time comin', but I finally broke.

Devil Without a Cause is Kid Rock's fourth album, released on August 18, 1998.

With the album, he wanted to make what he called "a redneck, shit-kicking rock 'n' roll rap album", combining influence from Run–D.M.C., Lynyrd Skynyrd and AC/DC.

For the album, Kid Rock re-recorded three songs from his underground albums: "I Am the Bullgod", which first appeared on The Polyfuze Method in 1993, "Where U At Rock" and "Black Chick, White Guy", which originally appeared on Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp in 1996.

Devil ended up going platinum 11 times, earning Diamond certification. Several singles, including "Bawitdaba" (whose Word Salad chorus combined the choruses of Busy Bee's "Making Cash Money" and The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" into a Gregorian chant), "Cowboy", "I Am the Bullgod" and "Only God Knows Why", were also hits. The album also scored critical acclaim for not only Kid Rock, but also within the context of the Rap Rock genre.

"Only God Knows Why" was Kid Rock's first Country Music hit, being a ballad about life on the road, the loneliness of fame, and struggling through existence. The song marked Kid Rock's first crossover hit on the Country Music chart, while all the other hit songs on the album were hits on the rock chart.

Based on his wild live shows with his band, Twisted Brown Trucker, Atlantic Records signed Kid Rock, despite initially passing on his demo based on not wanting to sign a white rapper. After executives saw him perform live, they realized Kid Rock was not merely a rapper, but a rock star.

Track listing:

  1. "Bawitdaba" 4:27
  2. "Cowboy" 4:17
  3. "Devil Without a Cause" (featuring Joe C.) 5:32
  4. "I Am the Bullgod" 4:50
  5. "Roving Gangster (Rollin')" 4:24
  6. "Wasting Time" (featuring Thornetta Davis) 4:02
  7. "Welcome 2 the Party (Ode 2 the Old School)" 5:14
  8. "I Got One for Ya'" (featuring Robert Bradley) 3:43
  9. "Somebody's Gotta Feel This" 3:09
  10. "Fist of Rage" 3:23
  11. "Only God Knows Why" 5:27
  12. "Fuck Off" (featuring Eminem) 6:13
  13. "Where U at Rock" 4:24
  14. "Black Chick, White Guy" 7:07

Even on the explicit edition of the album, there are lyrics censored on "Cowboy":

See the slimmy in the 'Vette, rolled down my glass and said, here, this dick fits right in your ass!

As well as:

Cuss like a sailor, drink like a mick. My only words of wisdom are to suck my dick!

On "I Got One for Ya":

I can understand all the push and shove, and what the fuck happened to the peace and love?

And on "Fuck Off":

I get too much P to ever be no homo.


I don't rock for cancer.note 

Additionally, the clean edition completely removes the songs "Fuck Off" and "Black Chick, White Guy".

The CD editions include a hidden track at the end of the album, a remix of "I Am the Bullgod". On the clean edition, it appears indexed on "Where U At Rock". It does not appear on the vinyl edition.

"Devil Without a Trope":

  • Auto-Tune: Very blatantly on "Only God Knows Why".
  • Badass Boast: The label really objected to Kid Rock rapping that he was "goin' platinum" on the title track, as it seemed like an absurd claim to make at the time, considering his lack of mainstream success up to that point, and they feared it would look ridiculous if the album didn't go platinum. Kid Rock stuck to his guns, and the album did go platinum. As he rapped in his later hit, "American Bad Ass":
    I. Did. Not. Stutter. When I said that
    I'm goin' platinum, selling rhymes
    I went platinum, seven times
  • Bowdlerise: Lampshaded on "Cowboy":
    "Curse like a sailor/Drink like a mick/My only words of wisdom are/<RADIO EDIT>"
  • Call-Back: On the title track: "So, shut up now, and put my balls in your mouth"
  • Country Rap: "Cowboy", "Wasting Time" and "Black Chick, White Guy"
  • Cowboy: He wants to be one, after all.
  • Face on the Cover: The cover just has Kid Rock's face and name. It doesn't feature the title at all. He also has braided hair, which he didn't have before or after.
  • Genre Mashup: This album fused Hip-Hop, Heavy Metal, Funk, Blues, Southern Rock, Soul, Country and Folk music.
  • Rearrange the Song: The album features a re-recorded version of "I Am the Bullgod" from The Polyfuze Method. Whereas the original is a slow country blues song, the new version is a heavier rap-rock song.
  • Rock Star Song: "Only God Knows Why" is a bittersweet example. It discusses how he achieved fame and money, but is lonely and can't find love, and seeks refuge in drugs and alcohol.
  • Sampling:
    • "Wasting Time" samples a portion of Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News" as its bassline,
    • The hook of "I Got One For Ya" comes from cult blues singer Swamp Dogg's song "Slow Slow Disco".
  • Sequel Song: "Cowboy" could be considered one to "Desperate-Rado" note , though the vulgarity is toned way down. In "Desperate-Rado", Rock raps that his mom kicked him out so she could start a whorehouse, while in "Cowboy", Rock is heading to California so he can start a brothel on top of the Four Seasons hotel. You could interpret this as a character development.
  • Singer Namedrop:
    • Kid Rockin' up and down ya block
  • Southern Rock: This influence is displayed throughout the album, much more prominently than on previous albums, but especially on "I Am the Bullgod", which mixes this with rap, Funk and Psychedelic Rock.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: On "Where You At Rock?", Kid Rock raps, "Ayn Rand couldn't stand me, so she banned me." Aside from being an alliterative rhyme, it's saying something about Kid Rock as a person. Ayn Rand was a philosopher whose philosophical system, Objectivism, promoted rational ego, meaning essentially a self-confident individual who takes pride in his own personal accomplishments. How this relates to Kid Rock is slightly sketchy, since Ayn Rand died in 1982 in New York, and couldn't possibly have ever encountered the brash, rambunctious Kid Rock in person, placing this verse within the context of a metaphor. Rand's novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, while championing rational ego, also featured antagonists who displayed irrational ego: the antagonists took credit for accomplishments they didn't actually achieve, and essentially got big heads about it, believing themselves to be as great or more than the heroes, while lacking their virtues or accomplishments. Kid Rock is saying that he has a larger ego than what is humanly healthy. In contrast, the level of ego, or confidence, of Rand and her characters, are within reason and justified, whereas Kid Rock is saying that his isn't.
  • Word Purée Title: "Bawitdaba".