Nu-Metal Fans Debate Why the Genre Was So Hated

Music

Why was nu-metal once so hated among music fans? Nu-metal fans on Reddit have been dissecting the genre’s downfall and what led to such a significant shifting of view in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

At the turn of the century, nu-metal was the dominant force in music, with bands such as Linkin Park and Disturbed joining Korn and Limp Bizkit as acts that were taking over rock radio and bringing a certain sound and style to the masses. But it seemed to have a more divisive run than any other dominant rock genre. So, as posed in a recent Reddit thread, why is nu-metal so hated?

One common point made amongst those chiming in on the thread was the typical gatekeeping that you often find with older metalheads not digging what the new generation is bringing.

One commenter called it “old metalheads anger,” stating, “I remember a lot of vitriol aimed at the “hiphop” elements especially. Heard some really shitty language back then,” with another commenter responding, “‘Keep your rap outta my metal’ was such a thinly veiled sentiment back then.”

Yet another added, “As an ‘old head,’ I concur. Too many gatekeepers and purists, not enough vision for the future. But evolution is necessary and I love the different directions metal has gone. Respectfully, my contemporaries need to take a seat and let the kids play.”

Another fan dug deeper sharing that the style of music seemed simpler in nature to a lot of metal listeners.

“Nu-metal was like a scapegoat for all metal at that time. It incorporated things from other genres not normally associated with metal (hip-hop/electronic) and the musicians were very simplistic (no guitar solos and down-tuned guitars),” they explained.

The person continued, “I always see nu-metal as the young kid who looked like he didn’t know anything, and the other metal genres were like the old boomer uncles, set in their old ways, thinking their way to play is the only way. So while it’s true that most nu-metal was not very technical, they brought in many new ideas and made something of their own, which started an entire sub-genre. See, nowadays, a lot of metal bands incorporate different and unusual styles, but back then, it wasn’t a really normal and accepted thing. Nu-metal bands were some of the unfortunate ones to be the first to break that in, and the first ones to do new things are usually mocked.”

Another person pointed to the lyrical content, calling out a handful of bands that took things in a sillier direction.

“Despite the many positive outlets it gave hormonal teenagers in the 90s, once Fred Durst started talking about nookie and breaking things, then papa roach, crazy town etc came out, it started becoming a parody of itself. Essentially it was seen by most as toxic white male middle class anger music. Woodstock 99 sealed its fate,” one person stated of why the genre had become hated.

And yet another called out the genre’s toxic masculinity, stating that it felt like “Lots of tough boy shit, but lack of depth. You’re angry? Okay. Why? No hate. Knuckle dragging is valid LOL.”

As for the recent revival of nu-metal, one follower on the thread stated, “In the collecting hobby, there’s a thing called the 30 year rule. Meaning after 30 years, a collectible tends to go up in value. This is because the kids who originally owned said collectible are now fully grown adults with a disposable income and have now hit nostalgia years so they go back and buy it, upping demand. The same can happen in music.”

They continued, “Ten years ago you’d get laughed at for saying you like Limp Bizkit. Now, you’re seeing way more people say ‘Actually, Limp Bizkit were good.’ Count how many years it has been since Limp Bizkit’s peak… It’s not hated anywhere near as much anymore and you’re going to see the hate decrease even further over the following years.”

READ MORE: 50 Best Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time

Why do you think nu-metal was so hated as a genre at one point in the past? What led to its downfall? Check out more of the discussion through the nu-metal Reddit.

Every ‘Big 4’ Nu-Metal Album, Ranked From Worst to Best

Between Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and System of a Down — indeed, the “Big 4” bands of nu-metal — how do all their albums stack up when ranked together? It’s no walk in the park pitting these discographies against each other. Read below to see every album by nu-metal’s “Big 4,” ranked from worst to best.

Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp + Chad Childers



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