Our 10 Favorite Limp Bizkit Songs

Limp Bizkit Songs

Photo: By Ryan Schertrumpf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

During the 1990s, speakers across the globe were being assaulted by an up-and-coming genre known as nu-metal. This alternative metal sub-genre is characterized by heavy, thrashing guitar riffs, rap-like vocals, and syncopated, off-beat rhythms, and it often features electronic/DJ-inspired elements. Along with Korn, Slipknot, and Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit is one of the most influential and well-known nu-metal acts of all time, and, for a brief time in the late ’90s/early 00’s, it seemed like the world was their oyster.

Formed in 1994, the band consists of Fred Durst (lead vocals), Sam Rivers (bass), John Otto (drums), Wes Borland (guitars), and DJ Lethal. Together, they have released five studio albums, selling millions across the globe. Anyone who is into the rock scene of the 2000s will tell you that the band’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water is the definitive nu-metal album, although much of the band’s work before and after this record is also worthy of your attention. Limp Bizkit songs are famous for their over the top, profanity-ridden songs, which are unquestionably unsafe for work. Still, their distinctive blend of head-banging guitar riffs, counter-cultural lyrics, and violently intoxicating drum beats make them a band that is impossible to ignore.

# 10 – Ready to Go

Released in 2013, this track is somewhat of a paradox. The song sees Durst address what he believes are the current problems with rock music, opining that it’s leaning too heavily towards pop, and yet the song is the band’s first release since they signed to the Cash Money record label. Those unfamiliar with Cash Money might be surprised to see Limp Bizkit’s current label mates include such famous rock stars as Drake, Nicki Minaj, and, bizarrely, Paris Hilton. It seems odd for Limp Bizkit to be railing against pop music when they are now so unavoidably linked to it, even having rapper Lil Wayne feature on this track (incidentally, his verse fits in well).

There can be no doubt that many hardcore fans saw this as the band selling out, but that is their loss. You should ignore the shaky background circumstances surrounding its release and instead embrace this utterly brutal track. Along with an earworm of a chorus, Ready to Go features some of Wes Borland’s most frantic guitar work, sounding precisely like contemporary nu-metal should. Even though fans might not have embraced this new era of Limp Bizkit, this is precisely the nu-metal madness they’ve always delivered.

# 9 – Gold Cobra

The title track from the band’s fifth album marked a reunion of the band’s most famous lineup after Wes Borland was mysteriously missing in action from 2001 to 2004. Beginning with some hammering relentless strumming, the verses of this song see Durst get about as introspective as Limp Bizkit are ever likely to (besides Walking Away – see below), stating how he’s having problems with his mood, even mentioning suicide – all while whiny guitar chords sound foreboding in the background.

This frank self-analysis doesn’t last long, though, with the second verse returning to the boastful, exaggerated Durst we’re used to, bragging about his car and money. Similarly, the surprisingly melodic and pop-esque chorus sees him brag about all the – literal or otherwise – gold he has. The post-chorus breakdowns feature an air-raid siren-like guitar riff, its shrill repetition perfectly underlining the pneumatically catchy nature of this underrated Limp Bizkit cut.

# 8 – Nookie

One of the best Limp Bizkit songs is arguably the band’s breakthrough track. Nookie comes from the band’s second album, Significant Other (1999), and sees Fred Durst in a relationship with a woman who treats him badly, but he is unwilling to leave because of reasons relating to the song’s title.

The track starts with a funk-inspired hook, also present during the verses, which features a twisted bass riff. It’s not long before the heavy guitars come in, though, providing listeners with an infectious headbanger of an intro. A repetitive, almost monotonous chant between the verses helps to reinforce the idea that Durst is almost hypnotized by his girlfriend, no matter how poorly she treats him – an effect that works well.

Despite the song’s success, Nookie wasn’t even supposed to be the song’s title; originally, it was just a working title that Wes Borland randomly selected after seeing the word in a magazine. Although Nookie is perhaps a little scrappier than the band’s later work, it is a perfect example of Limp Bizkit’s ability to craft music that is not just relatable and silly but genuinely catchy and exhilarating.

# 7 – Walking Away

As stated above, this album cut from Gold Cobra (2011) is the band’s most introspective track, and, to be frank, it sounds like it could be from an entirely different band. One of the best Limp Bizkit songs that Durst sings (rather than rap or half-sing) is about feeling depressed and held back by his past. This is one of the very few times that Durst drops his aggressive and bravado-laden front, allowing a glimpse at the seemingly emotional human being underneath.

As well as dropping the band’s usual expletive-laden bluster, Walking Away also represents a musical departure for the band, replacing thrashing riffs and heavy drums for stripped-back production and brooding guitars. Although the guitars pick up slightly for the second chorus, the song then delivers a real Limp Bizkit rarity, a guitar solo complimented by some intense hardcore screaming.

This oddity of a track is a genuinely unusual addition to the Limp Bizkit canon, and yet it works well, delivering a genuinely different, almost emo, sound. This refreshing contrast to Limp Bizkit’s usual output successfully displays a truly different side to the band, and that alone makes it worthy of note.

# 6 – My Generation

The first track from Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water to make this list, My Generation, opens with a stunning drum solo from John Otto. This is a pleasant surprise, as it’s something the band rarely treats us to. From such a grand opening, we dive straight into a thumping good song, full of growling guitars and a tenacious bass.

Lyrically, the song concerns introducing the establishment to the current generation of teens and young adults. This is done through a hugely compelling chorus about how young people are blamed for everything, leading to increasing levels of anger and apathy – something which would surely resonate with millennials today.

Following a brooding, somewhat ominous bridge, the song builds to a great crescendo where DJ Lethal’s danceable turntable scratches perfectly accompany the heavy-metal-inspired guitars. Although older than their fans, and therefore actually from a different generation, this angry-yet-exultant track sees the band perfectly capture the essence of teenage anger and angst. And no, this is not a cover of The Who’s “My Generation,” as so many lists seem to mistake.

# 5 – Eat You Alive

This 2003 single, taken from Results May Vary, was the band’s first release after the mysterious departure of Wes Borland. Compared to the band’s other tracks, this is a hardcore affair, missing the rap and electronic-inspired nu-metal elements and leaving us with a straight-up alternative metal song.

Lyrically, the song is vulgar and quite creepy – not helped by a music video that sees Durst kidnapping the object of his affections – but, despite these problematic elements, it deserves its place on this list thanks to its enormous chorus.

This is easily one of the biggest, most anthemic, sing-along choruses the band has ever produced. Alternating between screams and melodic singing, the chorus is so infectious that it should come with a warning. The song also features a strange balladesque bridge, which is entirely unnecessary, slowing the song’s epic momentum to a snail’s pace. Still, despite this, the rousing, electrifying chorus means you must check out Eat You Alive.

# 4 – Break Stuff

As the title suggests, the final single from Significant Other, Break Stuff (2000), concerns itself with anger, violence, and mindless destruction. Interestingly, the song features some of the cleanest and crispest guitar riffs the band has ever produced, noticeably lacking the scratchy and scruffy elements often encountered in nu-metal.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see even the most passive and non-violent person getting pumped up by the tornado of anger that is Break Stuff, with the bridge, in particular, serving as a whirlwind of virulent fury. The song is often blamed for violence that occurred during and after its performance at Woodstock in 1999, perfectly illustrating the visceral – sometimes scary – power that music can have.

If you ever need to let off steam after a hard day, there is undoubtedly no better remedy than putting the volume up to max and rocking out to this nu-metal classic.

# 3 – My Way

The fourth single to be released from Chocolate Starfish, in contrast to the band’s other work, My Way is a relatively chilled-out track. This is due to a sample from Eric B & Rakim’s My Melody, which opens and closes the song and recurs throughout. The verses feature subdued, almost mindless guitar chords, which make way for the band’s trademark heavy thrash riffs during the chorus and bridge. Perhaps this stark contrast is supposed to illustrate the calm and chilled vibe of Durst’s “way” and the angry, hotheadedness that will occur should he not get what he wants.

It’s unclear who Durst addresses during the song; convention tells us that it’s likely to be a romantic partner, but the lyrics are equally applicable when applied to friendships and business arrangements – could it even represent a conversation with record company execs? Only the band knows for sure, but this uncertainty only adds to the majesty of this hugely popular Limp Bizkit track.

# 2 – Take A Look Around

Thanks to its place on the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, this may have been their first introduction to Limp Bizkit for many. And what an introduction it is. Similarly to My Way, this track features pretty laid-back verses – musically at least, the lyrics are appropriately gritty and cynical – which build to an ominous and sinister hook, culminating in an unflinchingly hardcore guitar-driven crescendo.

The band’s unique nu-metal take on the iconic Mission: Impossible Theme is perhaps key to the success of this song, re-appropriating a familiar and historic track into a manic and dangerous guitar riff. It feels almost iconoclastic. There can be no doubt that this track was the perfect choice for M: I-2, creating the edgy and menacing atmosphere that film sequels often strive for, but even without the link to Mission: Impossible, with its enormous hook and fatalistic lyrics, Take A Look Around is an essential listen.

# 1 – Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)

This 2000 release is the definitive Limp Bizkit track for many people – it even reached number one in the UK charts. Its odd subtitle exists to differentiate it from the Urban Assault Vehicle, an alternative version of the song with hip-hop elements and many guest features from rappers (if you’re into that sort of music, it’s worth checking out).

While he will never compare to the likes of Eminem, Andre 3000, or Nas, Rollin’ sees Fred Durst at the apex of his rapping abilities, spitting bars at a rate at which they’re almost difficult to keep up with. The verses pair well with the song’s monumentally catchy hook (with the video even featuring some easily duplicated dance moves that perfectly complement the song).

With an extraordinary hook, massive guitar riffs, epic drums, frenzied vocals, and great use of DJ elements, Rollin’ surely represents the best Limp Bizkit song of all time and the absolute pinnacle of nu-metal.

10 Best Limp Bizkit Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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