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12:00 AM Monday, 2/8/99 |   |

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO KID ROCK. On the one hand, the 28-year-old rapper/ rocker is a self-described "crazy pimp [and] whisky-drinkin' f**k" -- what he refers to as his on-the-road personality.

His occasionally foul-mouthed lyrics convey his wild and sometimes foul-mouthed mentality, as displayed on his latest release, Devil Without a Cause, on Lava/Atlantic Records.

With classic Kid Rock lines such as "Watch a girl get frisky and then wash it down with a shot of whisky," referring to oral love, the rapper doesn't attempt -- nor does he want -- to bask in an image of innocence.

However, when Kid Rock, aka Bob Ritchie, isn't hitting clubs and theatres across the country in support of his Atlantic debut, the Kid is a responsible father, raising his young child.

"I've got custody of my son, who is five now," said a serious Kid Rock. "I go to parent-teacher conferences, I wash his ass, I pack his lunch."

Kid Rock displayed his multifaceted yet genuine personality with POLLSTAR. At times, the Kid seemed bitter, undoubtedly reflecting his more than 10 years as a recording artist in the music industry.

At other times, humor as well as monotone sadness surfaced; Kid, who was suffering from a bout with the flu, revealed his grandparents were killed in a car accident just days earlier.

It is evident that throughout the past decade, sour deals and experiences have molded Kid Rock into a wiser and much more confident person. He is admittedly chock-full of attitude while discussing subjects ranging from touring to recording contracts to his business team.

"I think it's important for people to know that all this shit doesn't happen just from being a crazy-ass motherf**ker," Kid Rock said. "There's a lot of hard work that goes into it." Indeed.

Hailing from the Detroit, Mich., suburb of Romeo, Kid Rock began developing his synthesis of "classic-styled breakbeats and liquored-up Lynyrd Skynyrd rock 'n' roll" during high school.

Jive Records noticed his talent and signed him in his late teens. Yet, the inexperienced artist soon found himself lost in the workings of the music industry.

"I got like a $100,000 deal and saw six grand out of it," he said.

Kid Rock managed two positive results from his deal with Jive: the release of his debut album, Grit Sandwiches for Breakfast, and the opening spot on tour with Ice Cube, Too $hort, and D-Nice.

"The Ice Cube/Too $hort tour was, to me, one of the last great rap tours since the Def Jam tour," Kid Rock said. "Too $hort came out of a dog house through a hydraulic lift, Ice Cube came out on a spinning electric chair to 'Papa was a Rolling Stone,' and I had tear-away pants and I did my turntable set."

Despite his 10 years in the business, that 20-some-date arena tour turned out to be Kid Rock's last major outing until last year's Vans Warped Tour.

"The big misconception that most people have about me being in this game for 10 years is that I didn't tour for 10 years because I always thought it was a waste of time -- financially it was," he said.

"[Touring] didn't seem like the right way for me. The right way for me was to make records and keep building a story."

Following his sour deal with Jive, Kid Rock spent the next several years recording a series of albums for the now-defunct indie label Continuum and targeting the Midwest market with a handful of shows.

While scraping to make ends meet, which included supporting his son, Kid Rock found out his manager was allegedly stealing show deposits. "So we had a show up in Big Rapids, Mich., one night and after the show, I pulled him out of the van, smacked the shit out of him and left him there on the highway."

The rapper immediately hooked up with Stephen Hutton, who continues to manage Kid Rock today. "I believe if you work with somebody from the beginning and they're honest with you and they work hard at their job, there's no reason ever to get rid of them," the Kid said.

It wasn't until after the recording of his 1996 indie, Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp, that Kid Rock decided to jump back into the major-label arena.

"It was just sitting around and watching everything going on around you, and I was just thinking, 'I'm way better than all these [others],'" he said. "I could write better songs than all these people in my sleep."

Kid Rock subsequently signed to Atlantic because of one reason: money. "Let's be honest, it always is. Bands that say it's not are lying or they're not getting that much money to start with."

With the help of agent John Dittmar at Pinnacle Entertainment, Kid Rock has developed a taste for touring. His opening slot on the Monster Magnet tour wraps up February 13th and a headline tour starts next month.

"I'm gonna pick-pocket the world, I guess you could say," hinted Kid Rock of his future plans. "But in the end, after I steal everything from them, they're gonna realize they got something very valuable for what I pocketed them for."


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