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Limp Bizkit is a band from from Jacksonville, Florida, responsible for being a Trope Codifier of the Nu Metal genre. They're also a definite case of divisiveness, as they have a rather large fanbase with 33 million albums sold worldwide, in addition to a Hatedom derived largely from Heavy Metal fandom. The band, particularly Fred Durst, act as Heels of the rock world to a certain extent, but there is actually a fair amount of Self-Deprecation in their lyrics and live performances◊, not to mention the heavy amount of Stealth Parody in their lyrics.
The band formed in 1995, and recorded a demo consisting of material Durst wrote for a pair of previous bands. Original guitarist Rob Waters left the band after recording the demo, and the final line-up was solidified with the introduction of Wes Borland. The latter's role in the band also played a part in the band getting ahead in the music industry: Through Durst's job as a tattoo artist, he was able to get the band Korn to listen to Limp Bizkit's first demo, but they were unimpressed. After they recorded a second demo with Borland, however, Korn responded more favorably, leading to Ross Robinson working with the band and a record deal with Mojo, and eventually Flip Records (and later Interscope).
Their debut, Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$ sold poorly initially, but sales increased via active touring. Participating in the Family Values and Ozzfest tours gave the band mainstream recognition. Memorably, the band's live set included a giant toilet which Fred Durst emerged from during performances (there was Lampshade Hanging; Fred would frequently yell "I'm a piece of shit, and my band is a piece of shit!" and inform audiences they were coming "from the sewer"). Also noteworthy was a tour in which the band allowed women to attend their concerts for free, which successfully increased their female fanbase. The band did this because their concerts were formerly attended largely by males.
The crossover hit Significant Other sold well on both rock and Hip-Hop charts and was followed by a controversial appearance at Woodstock '99, where Limp Bizkit was blamed for the audience's bad behavior, which included sexual assaults and rapes; The Red Hot Chili Peppers were blamed for inciting the crowds to start fires. Durst also got into quite a few feuds with other musicians.
The band's next few albums were generally poorly received by critics and despite some media appearances (including one of their songs being used as the theme for Mission: Impossible II), the coverage of the band focused less on the band's music and more on controversies surrounding their concerts. A 2001 tour in which teenager Jessica Michalik was crushed in a mosh pit and died of asphyxiation during Limp Bizkit's performance was the subject of lawsuits; it was generally determined, however, that the death was the fault of poor security, and not the band.
The relationship between Wes Borland and the rest of the band, particularly Durst, also suffered, to the point where Borland left the band to form Black Light Burns, while Limp Bizkit released an album, Results May Vary, without him; it was the band's worst-reviewed. Borland rejoined the band for The Unquestionable Truth, Part 1, released on Geffen Records, which was better received, but left the band again. Borland eventually rejoined the band, because it was decided that "We were more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other." During the band's comeback, they released their most critically acclaimed album, Gold Cobra. As of 2012, the band signed with Cash Money Records.
- Fred Durst - vocals
- Wes Borland - guitar
- Sam Rivers - bass
- John Otto - drums
- DJ Lethal - turntables
- Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$ (1997)
- Significant Other (1999)
- Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000)
- New Old Songs (2001)
- Results May Vary (2003)
- The Unquestionable Truth, Part 1 (2005)
- Gold Cobra (2011)
- Stampede of the Disco Elephants ((TBA))
- The Unquestionable Truth, Part 2 ((TBA))
All right, partner. Keep on tropin', baybeh. You know what time it is.
- Album Title Drop: In "Sour", from Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$ (sort of):Maybe you won't, maybe you will,
But baby, you're still about as real as a three-dollar bill.
- And of course, "Hot Dog"'s intro goes "Ladies and gentlemen... introducing the Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog-flavored water!"
- Atomic F-Bomb: In nearly every song.
- Most notorious is the track "Hot Dog" from Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, with "fuck" heard 46 times (and it's lampshaded in its lyrics!).
- Bilingual Bonus: The video for "Boiler" features a diner named "Bolacha Mole", Portuguese for limp biscuit.
- Break-Up Song:
- Many songs from Significant Other are shots to Durst's ex-girlfriend.
- The leaked "Just Drop Dead" is a shot at Britney Spears.
- Broken Pedestal: Durst is a fan of Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor, however, smashed a plate with Durst's face on it in the video for "Starfuckers, Inc." Reznor said of the band, "Limp Bizkit sucks" and in an interview told Durst to "surf a piece of plywood up my ass". (Some even argue that the NIN references in "Hot Dog" and "Livin' It Up" are a reply to this.)
- Careful with That Axe: Fred's guttural, throat-shredding scream is a frequent offender. "Indigo Flow" is a long series of Shout Outs to other musicians, until...Fred: You know what's up, dialed into the planet, and God, I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Hot Dog" is both an example and a lampshade of this. Most of their tracks also have either this or Precision F-Strike (Allmusic's review of that album lampshaded that while the censored version "basically guts the record," the cussing gets to the point that it "isn’t even noticeable, just part of the midrange hum, like the drums and droning guitars.")
- Concept Video: The music video for "My Way" pokes fun at concept videos, with the production crew constantly changing the concept as the video proceeds. Examples include Limp Bizkit the doo-wop band, Limp Bizkit the biker gang, Limp Bizkit the KISS-expy, and Limp Bizkit the cavemen.
- Corrupt Church: In "The Priest".
- Cover Version: "Faith", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "Fame", "Jump Around", "Behind Blue Eyes", "Killing In The Name", "Thieves".
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: "Faith" and "Behind Blue Eyes", which even add new verses.
- Curse Cut Short: "Nookie"'s infamous "So you can take that cookie and stick it up your (yeah!)"
- Darker and Edgier: The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1).
- Epic Rocking: 16-minute song "Everything" is definitely a huge example of this trope! And also "Stalemate" can be barely noted as epic rocking for being longer than any of their regular tracks.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. "Chocolate starfish" is a slang term for the anus.
- Greatest Hits Album: "Greatest Hitz".
- Grief Song: Quite a few.
- Heavy Meta: "Indigo Flow".
- Intercourse with You: Inverted in their cover of "Faith", about turning down sex. Played straight with "Nookie".
- Lampshade Hanging: The sample at the end of "Clunk" lampshades that Limp Bizkit plays louder than their favorite bands because they can't reproduce the sound of those bands, and that the band performs solely to entertain themselves, not for critical respect.
- Listing Cities: "Show Me What You Got".
- Longest Song Goes Last: "Everything" (16:26) from Three Dollar Bill Y'all$.
- Metal Scream: Common on their first album, and occasionally used elsewhere.
- Mind Rape/Break Them by Talking: Explicitly mentioned in "Full Nelson":How pathetic are people who verbally rape us with talking
We try to ignore them, ignore them until they keep talking.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally about a 7, occasionally some songs from "Three Dollar Bill Y'All$" and "The Unquestionable Truth" hit a hard 8 or soft 9 while Results May Vary and songs like "Everything" and "Re-Arranged" can drop to 5 or lower. Songs like "Hold On" and "Behind Blue Eyes" are even lower, being a 1 or 2.
- Movie Bonus Song: "Take A Look Around".
- My Way or the Highway: The chorus of "My Way". And Fred's whole attitude, to be honest.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The band's mix of Nu Metal, Rap Rock and Punk Rap. Some songs also dip into Jazz and Psychedelic Rock influences.
- New Sound Album: Had two ones with different responses. Critics hated the New Sound Album attempt Results May Vary with Mike Smith, and fans mostly found it average(though it did manage to go platinum despite the negative reviews) which started off with their usual sound then detoured into a bunch of other things, mostly Alternative Rock and ballads. Then Wes Borland returned and they made another one, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1). Armed with some extra post-hardcore influence, this was much better received, due to Borland's presence, but it wasn't promoted very well and subsequently flopped.
- Nu Metal/Rap Metal: Trope Codifier.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: In "Counterfeit". It's an electric keyboard imitating an organ, but it's put to the same use.
- Our Product Sucks: You wanted the worst... you got the worst. The one... the only... Limp Bizkit. You wanted the best? Go get the fuckin' Backstreet Boys CD!
- Out-of-Genre Experience: "Douche Bag". Not the whole song, just the random Jazz number at the end.
- Also "A Lesson Learned," a weird psychedelic/ambient experiment from Significant Other.
- Progressive Instrumentation: "Take A Look Around" has the following starting sequence: guitar > bass > drums > DJ > vocals.
- Rage Breaking Point: The entire point of "Break Stuff".
- Religion Rant Song: "The Priest", in response to the Catholic sex scandals.
- Rhyming with Itself: "Rollin'"; it could be argued that it actually rhymes "this shit right here" with "biz-kit's right here".
- Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: "Livin' It Up" has a line "I seen the Fight Club 'bout twenty eight times!". Fred would go on to feature "Prescribed by Dr.: Durden, Tyler" in the Results May Vary artwork and even be a Guest Fighter in the Fight Club video game.
- Self-Deprecation: Significant Other opens with "You wanted the worst... you got the worst."
- Durst was also amused by this.
- Shout-Out: "Indigo Flow" entirely consists of this, thanking associates like Korn, Deftones and Everlast. "Show Me What You Got" has shout-outs to Slim Shady and Les Claypool.
- To Shakespeare: In "Rearranged", Limp Bizkit sings, "Life is overwhelming, / Heavy is the head that wears the crown", which is a reference to the title character's quote in Henry IV Part 2: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" (III, i).
- "Stuck" features the line "All I wanted was a Pepsi", a reference to Suicidal Tendencies' hit "Institutionalized". The reference is immediately lampshaded in the next line.
- The first lyric of "Full Nelson", "Why's everybody always pickin' on me?", is a reference to The Bloodhound Gang's "Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me?".
- During the bridge and ending of "Nobody Loves Me", Durst sings the chorus In the Style of... Maynard James Keenan.
- Something Completely Different: The jam "Everything" is slow and fairly mellow compared to the rest of Three Dollar Bill. It sounds more like Progressive Rock than Nu Metal.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Eat You Alive".
- Stealth Parody: A lot of their songs are this.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Inverted; during live performances of "Shotgun," Fred Durst plays the closing guitar solo.
- Subdued Section: "Eat You Alive".
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Everything," "A Lesson Learned."
- Surreal Music Video: The oft-disturbing video to "Boiler", which even includes an animated sequence similar to the cover of Chocolate Starfish.
- Take That!:
"Pro Tools is my favorite member of Linkin Park"
- Durst, to Trent Reznor in "Hot Dog". Specifically, the whole chorus is made up of Nine Inch Nails references: You wanna fuck me like an animal/You wanna burn me on the inside/You like to think that I'm a perfect drug/Just know that nothing you do will bring you closer to me.
- DJ Lethal is guilty of this as of late. He recorded a diss track entitled "Crack Your Skull" towards Joe Hahn, Linkin Park's DJ. This is in addition to some postings on his Soundcloud and Twitter accounts. Odd, considering he recorded "State of the Art" with Chester Bennington a few years ago. He did later recant his statements concerning the rest of the band a few weeks later.
- The video for "Re-Arranged" is a response to critics who accused the band of inciting bad behaviour and violence at Woodstock '99. It begins with the band already in prison, shows them on trial over the Woodstock debacle, and then depicts the members being escorted from their cells into a sealed white container, which is then flooded with milk, drowning them.
- "Let it Go", a bonus track from "Results May Vary", is addressed to then-absent guitarist Wes Borland. This song even lampshades Wes' side-project Big Dumb Face in the lyrics.
- Theme Tune Cameo: "Rollin'" video began with Ben Stiller and Stephen Dorff pulling up to Fred Durst— while their car's radio plays "My Generation" (the band's previous single, not the Who song).
- Unusual Euphemism: Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. "Chocolate starfish" here being a euphemism for asshole, while "hot dog flavoured water" comes from an in-joke about how Wes Borland saw flavoured water on sale at a truck stop while touring, and jokingly wondered if they also come in meat or hot dog flavour.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: "N 2 Gether Now".
- Their band name, too. Not to mention their complation album "Greatest Hitz".
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Wes Borland, the Crazy Awesome guitarist who regularly goes on stage dressed as such outlandish things such as a full body painted skeleton to a bunny suit.
- Five-Man Band:
- Guest Fighter: Fred is a playable character in WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It!, as well as an unlockable character in the fighting game adaptation of Fight Club.
- Hidden Track:
- Their first two albums feature either a hidden nameless jam part or thrown in Studio Chatter after every song actually ends, but they're counted as part of the actual song length.
- Les Claypool and Matt Pinfield have two of these on Significant Other
- A skit featuring Ben Stiller and some phone messages appear at the end of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.
- Iconic Item: Fred Durst's signature backwards red Yankees cap.
- Iconic Outfit: Wes Borland is also known for wearing face and body paint or masks.
- Identical Stranger: Fred Durst and Rob Van Winkle. They're fans of each other.
- It's not just Fred that has this. Wes Borland looks like Ben Stiller. And even sounds like him, too. If you didn't know that the real Ben Stiller was delivering that last bit on Chocolate Starfish, you'd think it was Wes.
- Jerkass: Fred Durst was considered this when the band became really big, but he's gotten better since then.
- Wes Borland for trashing Dream Theater and, more recently, of Trump supporters.
- Large Ham: Fred Durst. ("KISS MY STARFISH! MY CHOCOLATE STARFISH!")
- Long-Runner Line-up: Despite Wes Borland leaving the band a few times, the band still had the same line-up for a decade and a half. This ended when DJ Lethal split from the band.
- Loveable Rogue: Fred could also qualify as this.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: Greatest Hitz has a white cover with a pink Mind Screw icon which could be a keyhole, or a turntable, or a ladies restroom sign.
- Myspeld Rökband / Xtreme Kool Letterz: The name of the band. It was originally spelled correctly on the band's early demos.
- N-Word Privileges: Liner notes for Three Dollar Bill.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Fred Durst was considered this for a time as well, but appears to have matured over time.
- Put on a Bus: Wes Borland, then Mike Smith and DJ Lethal.
- The Bus Came Back: Played twice with Wes and once with Lethal, before he was departed from the band again the month later.
- Wacky Guy: Wes Borland, of course.
- Yoko Oh No: Kseniya Durst is not very much loved by fans.