Does this mean we could be in store for a late '90s nu-metal revival? The four year period right before the end of the millennium was arguably one of the weakest epochs in music history (the emergence of Cash Money itself notwithstanding), and no one embodied all the era's lows like insufferable Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.
In his first interview speaking on the signing, Cash Money co-founder/CEO Birdman had this to say about Durst: "I want him to be a part of our staff and take over the rock department and bring us more talent because that's what he does."
Yikes ... As a preemptive measure, here's a rundown of late '90s acts we'd gladly trade Birdman, Weezy, and Durst some of our own cash money to never hear again.
When it comes to rock music, Birdman and Lil Wayne's tastes run toward the middle of the road. You know, whatever Midwest-friendly filler they play at corporate sports bar chains like Buffalo Wild Wings. Wayne, at least, also seems to fancy himself something of a religious man. All of which could point to a Scott Stapp cameo, as Roman Zolanski's exorcist, on the new Nicki Minaj.
It was hard to travel anywhere in 1999 without hearing the insipid hit "All Star." Then something awesome happened ... We didn't all die in Y2K, and we haven't had to hear Smash Mouth since. Please Stunna, let's keep it that way.
We'd thought Mark McGrath had left music behind for a career as an entertainment news host. But it seems that the former Sugar Ray frontman left his gig at Extra four years ago to re-focus on music. Since Durst is not averse to sharing his mike and women (both dated Paris Hilton and Carmen Electra) with his buddy McGrath, it would hardly be a stretch for him to extend that generosity to include Baby and Wayne's money.
The Goo Goo Dolls
We can't really think of any reason why Cash Money would try to sign these icons of blah. (Well, other than their previously explained fondness for shitty sportsbar muzak.) But just had to throw this one in there to be safe.
Master P and Silkk the Shocker
Yes, No Limit, the other era-defining New Orleans rap label, gave us Mystikal, one of the most inventive and charismatic rappers of any period -- not to mention highly underrated talents like Fiend and Mia X.
But hearing albums by those artists usually meant suffering the wooden flows of label head Master P and his slightly more talented but less charismatic brother, Silkk the Shocker. Now that Cash Money has signed a resurgent and newly paroled Mystikal, a No Limit reunion on Cash Money can't be entirely out of the question.
The New Radicals
We can respect anyone's right to a foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe calling out Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson. But it's far harder to tolerate such shit-talking when it comes at the end of an otherwise biteless pop song like one-hit wonders New Radicals' "You Get What You Give." Frontman Gregg Alexander definitely went in, though. And Lil Wayne, who has been throwing little digs Jay-Z's way for the last few years without ever really going into all-out attack, could use a direct guy like Alexander in his ghotswriting stable when he finally decides to cut that Hova diss track.
Weezy appears to be shopping for clothes at Hot Topic lately, so it's only a matter of time before his inevitable goth phase. And who better to soundtrack it than Rammstein, whose global '97 hit "Du Hast" effectively put an end to industrial's run as a respectable music genre.
Methods of Mayhem
Hip-hop in the late '90s began reaching the same level of cartoonish excess that hair metal had a decade earlier. So the timing was right for Tommy Lee to wade his Speedos into rap-rock waters with Methods of Mayhem, whose self-titled 1999 album featured Fred Durst, Lil Kim, and Kid Rock, among other icons of the era.
We can't really see Cash Money reviving the largely forgotten M.O.M., but only because Tommy Lee is making dubstep now. Which means that genre is ripe for a clueless rap label to give him the platform to effectively throw the sand on its grave.
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Every Nu-Metal Band
We're all for bands like Slipknot, P.O.D., Hed PE, and Static-X reaching the masses with their music as long as it's at Ozzfest or the Gathering of the Juggalos. It's having to hear their faux-tortured vocals, cliched power chords, and cheesy DJ scratches on the radio, in TV commercials, and during football games that we can't stomach for a second time.