The 16 Worst Band T-Shirts (Are All From Kid Rock's Store)
It's no secret that Kid Rock is, and brace yourself in case you don't know, actually not much of an American Badass. He was in fact BOOORN FREEE ... in a sprawling mansion. Most certainly not to the hardscrabble trailer park upbringing he likes to portray. And finally, I hope you're sitting down, but the man's name isn't even Kid Rock. It's ... Robert Ritchie. He's a Bob.
Obviously, it's normal and necessary for entertainers to take on a persona. It's just maybe less than necessary to take on the persona of a sentient dive bar erotic photo hunt machine with late-stage super brain syphilis. These days, Bob/Kid portrays himself as a representative of authentic America, and certain people seem to wholeheartedly agree. If so, perhaps it's worth trying to understand where this man is coming from. And the best and most scientific place to start is his OFFICIAL store T-shirt section. Here's a taste:
"But ... that shirt doesn't even mention Kid Rock! Or music in general!" you say with a trembling voice, having glimpsed the dark orgy of madness that lies at the end of this path. Indeed. I have much to show you. I've divided these shirts into roughly three tiers, starting with ...
Tier 3: County Fair Formalwear
If this first selection doesn't make your eyes shrivel up and slowly roll out of your sockets and down the nearest hill like marbles, note that they're the absolute best T-shirts in the official Kid Rock store. I'm easing you in.
Authentic Americans Love A Good Fish Fry
These are the first in a series of shirts boasting about Rock's "Fish Fry" event. Here we get a hint of the kind of persona the singer of "Bawitdaba" is trying to establish. And to be fair, the shirt is far less awful than the thought of attending this event. It's also hilariously lazy that they designed the thing and realized that the star's name wasn't front and center, so someone just made it so a bass was screaming the name of one of music's biggest phonies at the top of his lungs. Or is the fish supposed to be Kid Rock? He has the hat. Or maybe the fish stole the hat?
I'm not going to lie, I actually kind of like the bass shredding so hard on the hood of a car that his cowboy hat is being blown off. That's pretty cool shit. Prepare for a lot less cool shit. Remember Guitar Bass. Please think back to Guitar Bass as you're flooded with images you'll never be able to unsee.
The ... Rod ... Father?
This one's about his dick, right? He's The Rodfather because he has a big dick? Is he called this? What does this shirt signal to the wearer, and those to whom the wearer is visible? Is the wearer proudly boasting about their favorite musician's hog? His fishing prowess?
Oddly enough, it would make more sense without the picture of Kid Rock. No one would be confused by some country boy or girl proclaiming themselves to be the Rodfather. But in what social situation that has ever occurred on Earth does it make sense to say, "Hey, like my shirt? Yeah, I'm a big fan of Kid Rock's fishing."
But at heart, this is an example of KR appropriating something authentic and making it completely shitty for a few quick bucks. That's his business model. You could be talking about an undeniably great thing, but once you give it that Kid Rock touch, it's over. If Kid Rock brushed up against Michelangelo's David, he would morph into a Fox NFL Robot and start hurling slurs at everyone in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Can A Shirt Save You From Crushing Insecurity?
This is where the shirts signal not only a real shift in "quality," but also a real warning sign that we're dealing with the type of person who will willingly put Kid Rock's body on their body. It's the wardrobe equivalent to when a true crazy's Twitter feed starts to take that palpable turn, from the Word Art font to the sparkles. We're meant to believe Kid Rock is looking out the window in this picture, philosophizing on the future of our great nation, but in reality he's scanning for a roadside Waffle House suitable enough to pull over and shit within. It's subtly horrific.
But these shirts are just to establish a baseline. And sure, there are also the standard designs bearing album cover art and quoted lyrics. But that's not what we're here to talk about.
Tier 2: The End Is Nigh
This is where it starts to get real. This is the part in the horror movie when there's still time to turn back, and it's nobody's fault but your own that you're still inching your way toward that cellar door. Only when you open this door, a wave of toxic Mountain Dew rushes over you while a demonic chorus chants "Triggered Yet?"
A Shirt That Would Baffle Any Time Traveler From 1999
If you could go back and show this to Devil Without A Cause-era Kid Rock, would he even understand what he was looking at? "You mean Trump like the guy with the gold buildings? Why the fuck would I give him a whole shirt in my store?"
Hey, that's a great question, and one that future historians will struggle to answer, if they exist at all. Since when is it a thing for a musician's merch to feature something so absurdly and aggressively political, with no reference to the artist at all? I doubt you can roll into a Jack Johnson concert, head to the merch guy, and say, "Yeah I'll take the Banana Pancakes CD, that shirt with the palm trees in medium, and can you throw in that Robert Mugabe koozie as well?"
Haters Are In Fact Gonna Hate
"What, are you hating on the Rodfather just because of his cocky fish frying prowess? There can be no valid criticism of this man!"
It should be noted that a bad life philosophy is usually a simple corruption of a good one. It's true that successful people are able to brush off criticism offered in ignorance or bad faith, and that it's a useful trait to have. But there's a reason this is also the slogan of all of the worst people on Earth. Also, if you're so hated that you have to make a T-shirt to prove it doesn't bother you, it for sure bothers you more than anything in the world.
President Rock's Official Seal
The worst part about this shirt is that we're really not too far off from this seal turning up on government buildings. Note that the original seal features a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in the talons to represent war and peace, but here we've replaced the latter with a shotgun. Subtle!
It's becoming clear that Bob is deeply devoted to his loony vision of what America is all about, but I guarantee that if someone had played Benjamin Franklin one verse of "All Summer Long," he'd have abandoned all of his tinkering with getting his ass electrocuted and poured absolutely everything he had into making a time machine to travel forward and pull a reverse-Terminator on this situation.
Hey, Speaking Of Guns
Expert trigger discipline here, Kid. What's sad is that if he did accidentally squeeze those triggers, he'd kill the old man to his left, who's dressed like Dave Thomas because he's currently performing as the master of ceremonies at the grand opening of a Wendy's in Des Moines. To his right would be a fan of his sitting in the trailer they actually grew up in.
Tier 1: The Gates Of Hell Are Yawning Open Before Us
At the end of Back To The Future, Doc Brown and Marty blast off into the unknown with the line "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." I wish I had something like that to say to you here as we head into the final batch. Guys, I don't. The best I can offer is: "There are no roads ahead, because the Earth is covered in ash and dust and scavengers who roam this hellscape we once called home."
Wait, Here's More Fish Fry
Guitar Bass is back, baby! But he really sucks now. Yes, he's still rocking so hard that his hat is blowing off, and that's awesome, but he's sharing space with an inexplicably stupid line. They're being cute by making us wonder if the person would rather be FISHING, FRY-ING, or, and get ready, maybe they'd actually rather be FUCKING. Or forking, because they don't want to eat it with their hands? It's ambiguous!
It's The Kid Rock Electoral College Map, Everybody
Yes, the red states are labeled "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," and the blue are "DUMBFUCKISTAN." The copy accompanying this listing in the store is "Due to overwhelming demand, we decide to go ahead and actually make these T-shirts." Behold as Kid lays down the gauntlet against all of the parts of America who voted for anything other than lowering his taxes. I wonder what Bob does with the millions he makes each year touring in Dumbfuckistan? What am I talking about, surely he doesn't take their cash, right? There's no way.
Fuck-Giving Is A Sport, If You Think About It
Wearing clothing with "fuck" on it is the fashion equivalent of liking porn tweets. You're fully out there now, and you don't care who knows about it. The real sadness of this jersey is in the picture below, though.
What. A. PARTY. Supposedly these guys have zero fucks to give, yet at least one of them still went out of the way to find a nice little bowl for their Cheetos on Big Game Day (TM). I'm pretty sure a true zero fucks kind of guy would eat them straight out of the bag. Not to mention how this jersey appears to have two numbers on it? On the front we have Kid Rock, who's #1, of course. But on the back we see a tally of the number of satisfying fucks these dudes have given to any partners they've ever had. It's all very confusing.
Pissing Kid Calvin
If you're unfortunate enough to remember a time in the '90s when Calvin from Calvin And Hobbes was inexplicably pissing on just about every logo, viewpoint, or personal preference you can imagine, well you're in luck, because Kid Rock is keeping that shit alive in 2019! The man's entourage is the bumper sticker collection on the back of a '95 Dodge Neon with Florida tags that came to life, Toy Story-style.
I'm Angry And Rich And Smoky
Never has a shirt design so effortlessly conveyed its message. It's like if the back of a Supreme shirt read, "I have access to my dad's credit card information." The raised middle finger surrounded by three diamond-encrusted rings will be on the American flag within a decade. "Yes, I'm incredibly wealthy and comfortable, and also I'm absolutely enraged by my imaginary persecution." In fact, Kid Rock is such a take-no-shit badass that no one dares tell him that his cigar has set his hat on fire.
Fuck Tank Is Empty
I have barf in my lap as I type this. I'm scared. I can feel the walls closing in. I know that our end is near, but I had no idea it was this imminent. Hug your loved ones, have one last great meal, because the pale horse is neighing just over our shoulders, and it's beginning to trot our way. Friends, the Fuck Tank is empty. And the fucks were our gas, apparently.
That's ... that's bad, right? When you run out of gas? The proverbial car that is America's culture and institutions must now be pushed to the side of the road, stalled until someone can walk to the gas station and bring back a little red plastic container of fucks.
Kid's D Is In Your Collective Mouth
So the premise here is that performing oral sex on Kid Rock is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being, and something that only occurs as a form of punishment for the Haters. But really, I'm mostly blown away that they managed to accurately use a possessive noun. It's truly a miracle.
Also, Trump's D
Ah, we've come full circle. It's interesting, because if you go on over to Paul Simon's official merch page, there's a T-shirt with William Ta_t on it that reads: "The F is missing because we have no idea why Paul Simon's official website has shirts featuring the William Howard Taft, the 27th president of the United States, so we kind of fucked up while printing them because we were distracted by how little sense this all makes."
Or maybe this just marks the point at which Kid Rock, pushing 50, figured out that the real money wasn't in selling or performing music, but in stoking culture war bullshit and cashing in on the Trump-era grift. "Are you enraged that the economy and culture as a whole has left you and your family behind? It's time to fight back, and by 'Fight back,' I mean send 25 bucks to a multimillionaire."
Angry, White, And Armed
You can stare at this shirt for a very long time before it even registers that when wearing it, Kid's downward-aiming guns will be pointed directly into the face of every child you pass on the sidewalk. It's all here -- the phony sense of racial grievance, the gun worship, the laziness of the presentation, the cynical profiteering.
The sun dims. The birds go silent. The slow saunter of the pale horse has come to a halt, and its rider wears this shirt.
For more, check out 7 Reasons Kid Rock's New Song Might Be The Worst Ever:
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