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The 100 Greatest Nu Metal Songs of All Time

Music loves a genius. Ray Charles, Prince, Kurt Cobain, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Kanye West. All of these artists certainly worked very hard at their craft, but they also seemed to simply shed brilliant, culture-shifting works of art like it was accidental. Nu-metal has no geniuses. The genre-- created when Bakersfield, California 5-piece Korn began drawing passerby into their garage by alchemizing Faith No More and Cypress Hill-- is one of axe-to-the-grindstone effort. Nu-metal is the genre of the uninspired and ungifted. For every Incubus who seemed to come about their music with a jammy effortlessness, there’s a Mudvayne or a Disturbed or a System of a Down, whose frontmen left serious adult careers in their late twenties and early thirties to make a go at rock stardom. There's a Slipknot investing five figures into their own debut album, making their art inextricable from their financial investment. There’s a Linkin Park obsessively workshopping their songs into pop dominance. There’s a Fred Durst being appointed Senior Vice President of A&R at Interscope, securing a lucrative fallback plan in case his band’s sophomore album bombs. There’s a Ross Robinson drawing blood from a stone, hurling objects at his artists to bring out their best. There’s an American Head Charge naming their 2001 magnum opus The War of Art, which, in four words, communicates the nu-metal ethos better than this entire paragraph.

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