Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Let's see what we can figure out about Kid Rock's politics from a bunch of his live shows

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

As if it wasn’t enough to inflict the evils of “All Summer Long” upon the world, Robert James “Kid Rock” Ritchie’s looming bid for the US Senate seems to be picking up the sort of steady, horrifically inevitable momentum common to both recent international politics and inopportune bouts of diarrhea.

Because we the people now have the responsibility of wrapping our heads around this potential scenario, Detroit Metro Times’ Jerilyn Jordan subjected herself to a series of recent hometown Kid Rock shows at Detroit’s newly opened Little Caesar’s Arena in order to get to the bottom of what, exactly, the self-proclaimed “American Badass” really believes in.


Jordan describes protestors outside the first concert, stadium greeters who hand out little American flags and offer “God bless America, and enjoy the show!”as a welcome to the largely white audience. She drinks Rock-branded “Badass Beer” and describes a set of nearly identical shows, which naturally include repeat “special guest” Uncle Kracker and the appearance of “a flock of Uncle Sams on stilts, a fire-breather, and a dwarf dressed as a clown.”

Everything surrounding the events is unsurprisingly fraught, a C-tier rap-rocker somehow finding himself a focal point around which the larger tensions of a deeply divided modern America swirl. This isn’t surprising given the substance of Rock’s show-ending speeches—entertainment/political statements of intent centering on reducing social welfare, ending NFL anthem-kneeling (coupled with the reassuring “I say fuck all you racists. Stay the hell away”), and some good old fashioned transphobia followed by a non-denominational appeal to Jesus’ guidance.

After attending all but one of the concert series, though, Jordan also doesn’t hear an official confirmation that Rock is actually going to make the run he’s talking so much about. What we do learn is that, publicity stunt gotten out of hand or not, the idea of Senator Kid Rock is something we should keep an eye on just to be safe.

In the words of the man himself, cited by Jordan from one of his shows: “Wouldn’t that be a sight to see? Kid Rock in Washington, D.C.? Standing on the desk of the Oval Office like a G. Holdin’ my dick ready to address the whole country.”


Be sure to read the entire article. It’s a trip worth taking and pairs nicely, like a soggy hotdog and warm Budweiser, with a video from VICE News showing footage of the shows.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.