Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Arguably one of the worst album names for one of the worst albums ever made, thanks to one of the worst bands to ever exist. But here I am today, a 23-year-old who was once obsessed with this album and listened to “My Way” almost every day as a preteen, to say this: I still like Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.
To say that you like a Limp Bizkit album (and that you like Limp Bizkit at all) will always be perceived with some condemnation. For the longest time, one of my best friends thought I was being ironic when I would say, “I’m down with the Bizkit.” This year, he finally realized I was serious.
But getting people to understand the appealing absurdity of Limp Bizkit is a challenge, because the band fed into people’s preconceived notions of them, rather than challenged them. And when I say the band, I mean frontman Fred Durst. After all, the first half of the album title refers to Durst being called an asshole by anyone and everyone during the band’s period of mainstream success. The outro of the album (arguably one of the best parts) even features a discussion between Durst and Ben Stiller that perfectly captures what people loved and hated about the band.
Durst: What do you like about us?
Ben Stiller: I like that you’re so f*cking out there with your message of, you know, “Shut the f*ck up, man. Watch out, Mom. Big bad rockstar.”
Durst: Are you serious?
Ben Stiller: Oh, I can slash your ass with a chainsaw. I’m just saying the message of being able to slash someone’s ass. That’s a good message to put out there.
The exchange is so tongue-in-cheek, you can’t help but wonder, Is Limp Bizkit aware that they’re the butt of their own joke? Is Limp Bizkit smarter than we’re giving them credit for? Do they even care?