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"You wanted the worst... you got the worst. The one... the only... Limp Bizkit."
—Intro to Significant Other
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 Love It or Hate It, 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. 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 2), 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 recently signed with Cash Money Records.
- Fred Durst - vocals
- Wes Borland - guitar
- Sam Rivers - bass
- John Otto - drums
- DJ Lethal - turntables
- Rob Waters - guitar
- Mike Smith - guitar
- 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 (2012)
- The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2) (2012)
Limp Bizkit provides the following trope examples:
- Album Title Drop: In "Sour", from Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$ (sort of):
Maybe you won't, maybe you will,
- Atomic F-Bomb
- 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" are a reply to this)
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Hot Dog" is both an example and a lampshade of this.
- Corrupt Church: In "The Priest".
- Cover Version: "Faith", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "Fame", "Jump Around", "Behind Blue Eyes".
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: "Faith" and "Behind Blue Eyes", which even add new verses.
- Darker and Edgier: The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1).
- 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.
- Intercourse with You: Inverted in their cover of "Faith", about turning down sex.
- 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"
- Movie Bonus Song: "Take A Look Around".
- My Way or the Highway
- 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), which was much better received, due to Borland's presence.
- Nu-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.
- 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".
- 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.
- Signature Song: "Nookie", "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" and "Take a Look Around".
- 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.
- Subdued Section: "Eat You Alive".
- Take That:
- Durst, to Trent Reznor in "Hot Dog".
- 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.
"Pro Tools is my favorite member of Linkin Park"
- 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".
- Bonus Material:
- A special edition of Significant Other has a bonus disc with live performances.
- American limited edition of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water has a bonus track, "It's Like That Y'All", featuring Run DMC. The Japanese limited edition has the rare track "Crushed", and two tracks from Three Dollar Bill Y'all$.
- Deluxe edition of "New Old Songs" has three additional remixes of "My Way".
- UK edition of Results May Vary has the bonus track "Let It Go". Japan edition has this track, and one more track: "Armpit".
- Some versions of Greatest Hitz ends with "The Truth", from The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1).
- Gold Cobra had a Deluxe version with three extra songs ("Back Porch, "My Own Cobain", and "Angels"), a different deluxe edition which had an extra song along with the three others depending on where you were. In Europe it was "Los Angeles", in the US, it was "Middle Finger", and in Japan, it was "Combat Jazz"
- 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.
- 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:
- Iconic Item: Fred Durst's signature backwards red Yankees cap. 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.
- Large Ham: Fred Durst. ("KISS MY STARFISH! MY CHOCOLATE STARFISH!")
- Long Runner Lineup: Despite Wes Borland leaving the band a few times, the band still has the same line-up after 16 years.
- 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 Rokband / 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: Mike Smith.