To be a fan of nü-metal is the equivalent of being a self-hating Juggalo. In every iteration -- the two major poles being rap-rock or spooky-scary-angry mud-butt-rock -- the genre is negative and immature. Lyrically, musically, ideologically: There is no redemption.
In the second decade of the new millennium, we take it for granted that nü-metal sucks. People used to love that shit! In fact, you might have even loved that shit!
I know. It's hard to deal with, and that's why you have repressed the harrowing memories of endlessly inane aggro angst. But to move past this confusing and embarrassing period in your life, you need to accept the truth.
And of course, County Grind is here to help. Here are nine signs that you loved nü-metal in the '90s.
9. Skinny Jeans Are the New JNCOs
Are today's heepsters yesterday's nü-metal trolls? How many people who go to see the Arcade Fire in 2013 also went to see Slipknot in 1999? What if the reason behind pants getting tighter and tighter the past ten years is that the decade prior they kept getting bigger and bigger, which was, at least initially, a throwback to the bell-bottoms of the '70s in response to all that unbreathable spandex from the '80s.
Pants-leg circumference swings back and forth for all eternity, like a glistening guillotine strapped to the pendulum of your grandfather's clock.
8. Stashed in the Closet: A.D.I.D.A.S., Red Caps, and Hot Topic T's
But it's impossible that everyone who wears skinny jeans used to be into nü-metal. Another way to tell: Everyone's got a spot in their living quarters where they keep stuff they don't want other people to know they keep. Examples include weapons, drugs, pornography, and leftover Staind patches your Mom wouldn't let you sew on your bookbag.
7. That Thing on Your Face
It would seem that the entire cast of players behind the nü-metal wave/plague of the '90s took their facial-hair inspiration from Anthrax's Scott Ian. This is the only genre where it would be acceptable to braid your giant sideburns or dread a Fu Manchu. All facial hair is created equal, but if you've got an extra-long soul patch, I can't help but wonder if you also have the collected works of Disturbed.
6. Your Ticket Stub Collection Includes the Family Values Tour
The one downside to being a meticulous collector of your life's ephemera is that you end up creating an exhaustive archive of when you used to suck. In 1997, I met Fred Durst at the Macy's on South Beach, and he signed the back of his receipt. I am proud to say I have no idea where it is.
5. Woodstock '99: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
The white male rage riots that comprehensively sullied the Woodstock brand forever are a symbol of so much, including, but not limited to, a forewarning of the tumultuousness of the 2000s and the most logical endpoint for nü-metal as a whole. Whenever somebody brings up Fred Durst surfing plywood hoisted by frothing frat warriors while imploring the masses to destroy everything around them, you get glassy-eyed and quiet. It's, like, rap-rock Apocalypse Now or some shit.
4. You Think Pushing = Moshing
I'll have you know, there are about 30 ways to run in a circle or bust out capoeira-style hardcore dancing, all in the name of moshing. The push pit was certainly nothing new by the time nü-metal reared its ugly head in popular culture. But bros in Static-X pits across the world officially solidified simple shoving as the slam dancing du jour of a generation.
3. Whenever You See Ice-T, You call him "the guy from Body Count"
Even though you were (and still are, really) afraid of Body Count.
2. You Have a Tattoo of Kid Rock's Dwarf Sidekick, Joe C.
Joe C. was a dwarf ("not a fucking midget," read his iconic homemade T) that backed up Kid Rock as hype man and sidekick during Rock's indie years and through his Devil Without a Cause breakthrough. And ever since he passed away, Kid has become progressively twangier. Do you even remember that he used to rap? In a way, Joe C. -- in all of his smoke-a-blunt-and-tell-people-to-suck-his-dick glory -- is a symbol of the very essence of nü-metal: a loud, explosive intersection of every form of crude pop-cultural bombast, from rock 'n' roll deity to rap star. If someone you know has a portrait of Joe C. inked on his body, chances are, he loved nü-metal in the '90s.
1. You Listen to Nü-Metal Dubstep
Congratulations, you essentially still love nü-metal.
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