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Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit

A linchpin of the late-'90s nu-metal scene, Limp Bizkit brought rap-metal to the masses with the career-defining albums Significant Other (1999) and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000). Led by charismatic -- and polarizing -- frontman Fred Durst, the band enjoyed a string of radio hits ("Counterfeit," "Faith," "Nookie," "Break Stuff," "Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)," and "Behind Blue Eyes") before going on hiatus in the mid-2000s, as their frenzied blend of hip-hop, metal, and post-grunge fell out of favor. Limp Bizkit reunited in 2009 and released Gold Cobra two years later. Over the next decade, they continued to tour and release the occasional single. In 2021, they made a comeback with a celebrated Lollapalooza appearance and the surprise release of their sixth effort, Still Sucks, their first new studio album in over a decade.

Limp Bizkit was formed in Florida in 1994 by vocalist Fred Durst and his friend, bassist Sam Rivers. Rivers' cousin John Otto soon joined on drums, and guitarist Wes Borland completed the original foursome (later supplemented by DJ Lethal). After Korn played the Jacksonville area in 1995, bassist Fieldy got several tattoos from Durst (a tattoo artist) and the two became friends. The next time Korn were in the area, they picked up Limp Bizkit's demo tape and were so impressed that they passed it on to their producer, Ross Robinson. Thanks mostly to word-of-mouth publicity, the band was chosen to tour with House of Pain and Deftones. The label contracts came pouring in, and after signing with Flip/Interscope, Limp Bizkit released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill Y'All. By mid-1998, they had become one of the more hyped bands in the burgeoning rap-metal scene, helped as well by more touring action -- this time with Faith No More and later, Primus -- as well as an appearance on MTV's Spring Break '98 Fashion Show. Their biggest break, however, was a spot on that summer's Family Values Tour, which greatly raised the group's profile.

Limp Bizkit's much-anticipated second album, Significant Other, was released in June 1999, and it and the accompanying video for "Nookie" made the group superstars. Significant Other debuted at number one and had sold over four million copies by year's end, also helping push Three Dollar Bill Y'All past the platinum mark. Durst, meanwhile, was tapped for a position as a senior vice president at Interscope Records in early July. However, in the midst of this massive success, controversy dogged the band following that summer's performance at Woodstock '99. In the wake of the riots and sexual assaults that proved to be the festival's unfortunate legacy, Durst was heavily criticized for egging on the already rowdy crowd and inciting them to "break stuff." Not only was at least one mosh-pit rape reported during the group's set (in addition to numerous other injuries), but the ensuing chaos forced festival organizers to pull the plug in the middle of their show. Even though Limp Bizkit's performance took place the day before the infamous festival-closing riots, the band was raked over the coals in the media, who blamed them for touching off the spark that inflamed a potentially volatile atmosphere. Undaunted, Limp Bizkit headlined that year's Family Values Tour, with the newly controversial Durst grabbing headlines for periodic clashes with Bizkit's tourmates.

During the Napster flap of 2000, Durst became one of the most outspoken advocates of online music trading; that summer, Limp Bizkit embarked on a free, Napster-sponsored tour. All of this set the stage for the October release of the band's third album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Wes Borland left soon after, necessitating a long search for a replacement guitarist of comparable value; finally, after going almost three years without a new album, the band released Results May Vary, which peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and eventually went platinum. Borland returned after its release, and the band issued The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1 EP in 2005.

The Bizkit then released Greatest Hitz, a 17-track career survey that included all the hits from their heyday. In 2009, the band went back into the studio to record with its original lineup. After a number of delays, they released their fifth studio album, Gold Cobra, in the summer of 2011. Featuring the single "Shotgun," the LP was generally well-received and charted in several countries. In 2012 the group left Interscope, joined the Cash Money Records roster, and headed back into the studio to begin work on album number seven (the proposed Stampede of the Disco Elephants). They issued the singles "Ready to Go" and "Endless Slaughter" in 2013, but it would be years before a new record saw the light of day. The band parted with Cash Money in 2014.

By the time the 2020s rolled around, nu-metal was in the midst of a revival, driven by younger bands raised on the sounds of Korn and Limp Bizkit. Capitalizing on this new youthful resurgence, the band was added to 2021's installment of Lollapalooza, performing a well-received, main stage greatest-hits set that ended with a new single, "Dad Vibes." The track later appeared on the band's official sixth album, which was surprise-released that Halloween. Self-aware as ever, their comeback set was titled Still Sucks and featured a blend of their classic rap-rock sound and late-era introspective cuts ~ John Bush & James Christopher Monger

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