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Korn in the USA

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Yeah, thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Davis.
Little Jonny traumatized? Perhaps this explains his partiality toward long tangents of the whine variety: "Hate!/I sing my words I've thought that dealing/With your life's dead bodies everywhere/You/Really want me to be a good son/Why'd you make me feel like no one."

Oh, please. Jonathan's habit of blaming others for his own setbacks is getting mighty redundant....

"Children of the Korn" -- Davis: "[Ice] Cube came up with title. I fed off of what he wrote -- he was talkin' about growing up during puberty, and having people dictate to him what he can do, like 'how you gonna tell me how to live and who to fuck.' And in one of my verses, I'm talking about being a kid that's always known as the fuckin' town faggot. It's funny how things change... because I'm a big rock star now."

Token rap cred in the form of Ice Cube only reinforces the soft whiteness of Korn's strictly hetero pose and suburban underbelly. And the real imagery on this song comes from Cube's antiestablishment rote, thus dwarfing Davis' usual feeble-handed wordplay even further.

But with a band with such "meaty," cock-in-hand musical ethos and a staunch, pro-porn stance (porn director Matt Zane threw Davis' bachelor party, and Davis showed up in Zane's Backstage Sluts 2) one would normally scratch one's head at all the homophobic-cum-homosexual referencing: "It was all about the pussy, if you can get it/A little nerd like me never fucking liked it." And then there's this:

"B.B.K." -- Davis: "That stands for 'Big Black Cock!'"
I'll say! Sample lyric: "There's nothing wrong wanting to be loved/Is there something wrong with me?!/Once in my life I'd like to be really set free."

Yee haw!
"Pretty" -- Davis: "It's a story about this little girl that came into the coroner's office when I was working and she [had been raped and killed] by her dad. She was an 11-month-old little baby girl.... It was heavy man. I went through all kinds of therapy."

Isn't Sir Davis all empathetic here, as if the screaming and yelling and "crooning" in the dirge is some sort of catharsis: "So so right/Wait but I don't realize/Smile my legs/Broke the pain between her thighs."

Really, coupled with the dirge, Davis' comments are more let's-spermicize-the-arena posturing than anything else; the sympathy routine is pure button-pushing, unintentional irony.

"All in the Family" -- Davis: "Fred [Durst of Limp Bizkit] was at the studio one day after a KORN-TV taping, and we said, 'Let's do a song together. Hey, man, let's go back and forth and rip on each other like an old-school battle.... I even came up with some bags on myself for Fred to say."

Further gay references ensue in the form of a decidedly seventh-grade locker-room gibing, and one gets the feeling it takes on more than just a good-natured bent. And dig the way Jonathan bags on Florida:

Fred to Davis: "And all you eat is Zingers/You're like a Fruity Pebble/Your favorite flag is Rebel/It's just too bad that you're a fag."

Davis to Fred: "So you're from Jacksonville/Kickin' it like Buffalo Bill/Gettin' butt-fucked by your Uncle Chuck/... You love it down south and boy, you sure do got a purty mouth."

"Reclaim My Place" -- Davis: "I always do a song about a band member, and this one is about the whole band and how all my life I've been called a homosexual. Even now, I became this big rock star in a band and I'm still called a fag even by my own band. So it's like I was fuckin' pissed off at them.... I've never ever gotten away from that 'fag' fuckin' title. Just because I'm a sensitive kinda guy, and kinda feminine. It really sucks."

Can anyone say "overcompensation"? Poor Jonny, to be saddled with so much "sensitivity" and all. Jeez, does he mean that, with all this sexual-issue stuff, he ain't just pulling our chains? Who knows? The "What the fuck?" chant at the tail end of the song is all open-ended.

"My Gift to You" -- Davis: "Renee [Davis' wife] wanted me to write her a love song, and that's why I called it 'My Gift to You.' It's my gift to her, and you know how I get sick. I always had a fantasy of fucking her and choking her to death.... One time I was thinking about it while making love and taking her away from this fucking place. I just had the balls to write about it."

The balls to write about it? Where has he been? This sort of psychotica has been placed in literature for hundreds of years, from Shakespeare to Rimbaud to Judith Rossner. If anything, this is the sort of illiterature written by a guy with a seeming history of torturing cats behind his tract house in some dire suburb while drinking stolen beers and shooting off .22 rounds. Nothing more than an updated Axl Rose distemper, only less exciting.

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Brian Smith
Contact: Brian Smith

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