Culture Matters: Nü- Metal

The double-edged knife of nü- metal strikes! Is it even metal in the first place? The debate forever continues and its frustration increases. Korn’s frontman, Jonathan Davis, rejects the label of nü- metal ever being metal, whilst Slipknot reject the entire label simply because they believe they are heavy metal instead. The groove, the funk, the addition of a DJ, and the rapping among many other things certainly waters down the supposed ‘heaviness’ of the genre.

Whilst nü-metal can be considered one of the only ‘metal’ genres that has more females involved (e.g. Kittie, Otep, Coal Chamber), there remains certain contradictions, which are present in typical nü-metal lyrics. Although lyrics tend to speak of subjects like depression and angst, at times such lyrics may oppress females and objectify them (e.g. calling women ‘bitches’). This is vividly present in a lot of Limp Bizkit’s lyrics, a band who is known for their destructive and controversial attitudes. Just look at how Woodstock ’99 ended after a Limp Bizkit performance of their song ‘Break Stuff’, perhaps too much teenage angst and rebellion flowing through the air? It definitely does not justify the catastrophe of the festival that ended in rape, violence, destruction of property, and stampeding.

So what happened to nü-metal? IS IT EVEN METAL?!


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