“If you love a place,” Kid Rock told during an hour-long interview Piers Morgan, “You have a duty to protect it.” I know, it sounds bizarre that a non-Kid Rock lyric has stuck with me for years running, but it’s something my mind refers back to when I imagine someone talking about their hometown going downhill or how they dread going home for the holidays.
If you love a place, you have a duty to protect it. It’s the basis of Kid Rock’s philosophy despite the greater population thinks he’s more Joe Dirt than he is Biden. But give one listen to any of his albums (specifically his recent albums) and you’ll see a deep-seeded love for the city he pounds his chest to. Hailing from Romeo, Michigan, it’s just a 45-minute drive to Detroit – the city whose baseball team is tattooed on his arm. He describes himself as “The Long-Haired Redneck Rock N Roll Son of Detroit,” and judging by the fact that his six consecutive concerts to open the new downtown Little Caesar’s Arena sold out in less than two days, yeah, people do truly consider him to be that.
And now he’s being considered as an actual candidate to contend for (D) Debby Stabenow’s senate seat next year.
I know, I know, it sounds weird because you know him from dating Pamela Anderson, barely being able to read in his role as Robby, and getting in fights in every Waffle House a flyover state can offer. But just keep listening.
“We spend our days on the line and our nights in the bars,” he says in his song “Detroit, Michigan.” “It was summertime in Northern Michigan,” he sings in “All Summer Long.” But his love for Michigan isn’t what’s in question here, it’s obviously, “Can this raspy-voiced, cigar-smoking, fedora-wearing American Badass actually be a legitimate contender for a senate seat?” People probably asked a similar question about that one guy who hosted The Apprentice, too, but Kid Rock has always had a political side (albeit very baseline) to him that’s somehow actually coming to fruition.
Take this verse from “Amen,” a song off his 2007 album Rock N Roll Jesus which samples another Michigan legend, Bob Seger.
Habitual offenders, scumbag lawyers with agendas
I’ll tell you sometimes people I don’t know what’s worse
Natural disasters or these wolves in sheep clothes pastors
Now damn it I’m scared to send my children to church
And how can we seek salvation when our nations race relations
Got me feeling guilty of being white
But faith in human nature, our creator and our savior, I’m no saint
But I believe in what is right
Like I said – it’s baseline political speak that sounds like anything else you’d hear in Hollywood. But then you dig deeper.
He started his Badass Beer venture hoping to provide some Michigan jobs (and create a chuggable beer). He regularly visits and performs for troops overseas. He surprises blue-collar assembly lines in Flint and Detroit. He treats his community with respect and care, like the time he surprised a fan with down syndrome on his 30th birthday. He had a benefit concert with the Detroit Symphony that raised them over $1 million. In 2011, he gave a total of $50,000 to various Detroit charities, including city recreation centers, a conservancy, a youth theater group, a youth training agency and Habitat for Humanity. He gave a $5,000 check to a 17-year old Kentucky girl to help pay for her enrollment in a private school she otherwise couldn’t afford. The banner he performed in front of on his Care tour included everything he cared about, such as Mother Earth, The Troops, The Working Class, My God, My Son Peace and Quiet, My Personal Integrity, Bringing the Troops Home.
Yes, he has music videos where he’s grabbing strippers with both arms. Of course he claims to be able to “drink a fifth of Jim Beam and still standstill.” And sure, he still smokes enough cigars to make even Winston Churchill cower. But are you really going to bet against a guy who taught himself how to break dance and DJ at 11, ran away from home at 15, claimed he’d go platinum before ever going platinum (only to go platinum 11-times platinum on that one album)? I didn’t think so.
Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura became the governor of Minnesota. Donald Trump became President of The United States. Is it really out of the realm of possibility that Kid Rock would become a Michigan Senator?
“If you love a place, you have a duty to protect it.” .
Image via YouTube