The music of the Michigan rocker Kid Rock has become a narrative feature on MSNBC. For some politicians it’s a form of political offence, taken out of the institutional and political arena into the playpen of celebrity impresario Flavor Flav; for others it’s nostalgia for simpler times – as demonstrated in previous songs by the three-time Grammy-nominated artist. Given this tendency to wilfully dabble in whatever American double-entendre you can find, perhaps it’s unsurprising that on the new track How Many More Snowflakes he chooses “don’t try to act clever or tell me how to live”. It all makes a strange kind of sense. What the hell was Kid Rock doing interviewing Rihanna for the New York Times? Blunders like that can only be fixed by punishing his fans by inviting them to shout “Shut the fuck up, go home!” at the recording studio.
His latest offering is another ballad of frustration aimed at the political establishment. Clearly it has gone out to radio, he observes dryly, but “they ain’t even listening”, after which it resumes in the form of a monologue about two women whose faith Kid Rock won’t be turning his back on after reading that his latest album is topped with the word “Republicans”. Cue a threadbare reprise of a tried-and-tested thing. The rest of the track doesn’t really amount to much more than that: the sort of sterile observations that will be familiar from preceding speeches. Kid Rock is, of course, a Republican, and “back on this planet” after going MIA. But one wonders: what would a truly engaged leader have done? That it seems Kid Rock – still too rapping and hip-hop for the likes of Hillary Clinton to invite – still hasn’t quite figured it out tells you all you need to know about the state of America in the Trump era.