All in the Family (song)

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This article is about the 1998 Korn song. For other uses, see All in the Family (disambiguation).
"All in the Family"
Single by Korn featuring Fred Durst
from the album Follow the Leader
Released July 18, 1998
Format 10", 12", CD5"
Recorded 1998
Genre Rap metal, nu metal
Length 4:53
Label Immortal/Epic
Producer(s) Korn, Steven Thompson, Toby Wright, & Tommy D. Daugherty
Korn featuring Fred Durst singles chronology
"Good God"
(1997)
"All in the Family"
(1998)
"Got the Life"
(1998)

"All in the Family" is a song written and recorded by American nu metal band Korn and Limp Bizkit vocalist Fred Durst for Korn's third studio album, Follow the Leader. The demo version was released as a "radio teaser" shortly before the release of the album's first actual single, "Got the Life".

Music and structure[edit]

The song is a rhyme duel between Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst, mixing elements of hip-hop beats, distorted 7-string guitars, and Fieldy's signature bass sound. The song begins with Jonathan and Fred insulting each other on hygiene, sexual orientation, family roots, and other things. At the ending, both say they will perform sexual acts on each other in an ironic way, in fact giving the song a confusing twist. There are lyrical references to each other's songs, including Limp Bizkit's "Counterfeit" and Korn's "Blind", "Shoots and Ladders", and "No Place To Hide". Parts of the riff from "Blind" can also be heard during Jon's insults. Musical acts Vanilla Ice, Hanson, and Winger are also tossed around as insults along with references to the 1993 Waco siege, Jerry Springer, Austin Powers, Raggedy Ann, Zingers, and Fruity Pebbles.[citation needed]

Concept[edit]

After the song's release, Davis said in an interview, "It's just me and him ragging on each other. Some kids think that Korn and Limp Bizkit hate each other. But hey, why we would be in the same room talking to each other if we hated each other? We have total respect..." Originally, the song was for B-Real of Cypress Hill, but his record label wouldn't let him do it.[1][2]

Davis and Durst would often offer suggestions for each other's lyrics; a lyric written by Durst as "tootin' on your bagpipe" was changed to "fagpipes" by Davis, who stated "I helped him bag on me better".[3]

Media response[edit]

In an otherwise positive review of the album, Rolling Stone wrote about the song:

It's too bad that Korn can go so easily from the potent to the pointless. The very next track, "All in the Family," is an MC duel between Davis and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, a stomping hip-hop track with a good-natured barrage of insults – except for the "faggot" and "fairy" cracks and lame-o lines like "Suck my dick, kid, like your daddy did" and "You're a fag and on a lower level." To Davis and Durst, that may just be harmless schoolyard jivin'. But Davis knows words can hurt – that was the whole point of "Faget" on Korn – and the homosexual slams in "All in the Family" cheapen, at least for those five minutes, the power and integrity of an album otherwise devoted to kickin' it against cruelty and prejudice.[4]

Similarly, Steve Appleford of the Los Angeles Times called the song "a duet of cheap insults with Bizkit's Fred Durst that only diminishes one of Korn's strongest albums",[5] and the Winston-Salem Journal wrote, "one wonders how [Davis] could stumble so badly with 'All in the Family' – a scatological song crammed with crude jive and anti-gay jibes that severely undercuts an otherwise potent disc."[6] The Austin American-Statesman's critic wrote that the song's "pulsating rhythms... are undermined by countless references to guys' private parts, the f- word, 'faggots' and incest."[7]

Mike Boehm, commenting in the Los Angeles Times, attempted to consider the band's motivations in writing the lyrics:

The homophobic epithets, the band might say, were not meant to disparage gays, but rather meaningless, street-talking jive by two guys "playing the dozens", greatly influential on rap—of verbal combat that emphasizes the competitive trading of fanciful insults. After all, the title "All in the Family" calls back that lovable TV bigot, Archie Bunker, doesn't it?[8]

He goes on to write, "The ugliness of 'All in the Family' doesn't stem from overt homophobia; let's take Davis at his word that he harbors no ill feelings toward gays. Instead, it embodies the ingrained, unthinking homophobic bias that runs strong in our culture."[8]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "All in the Family" (rough mix) – 4:51
  2. "All in the Family" (Clark World mix) – 4:45
  3. "All in the Family" (Sowing the Beats mix) – 4:51
  4. "All in the Family" (Beats in Peace mix) – 4:15
  5. "All in the Family" (Scary Bird mix) – 8:40

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Morse (14 August 1998). "Korn feeds the people", The Boston Globe, p. C13.
  2. ^ "ALL IN THE FAMILY". Facebook. 11 Jan 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Devenish, Colin (2000). Limp Bizkit. St. Martin's. p. 64. ISBN 0-312-26349-X. 
  4. ^ David Fricke (12 August 1998). "Album Review". Rolling Stone (794): 97–98. [dead link]
  5. ^ Steve Appleford (7 December 2003). "In defense of Korn: Look into this mirror: Listening to the band's rages and rants can't be called a pleasant experience, but it sure can be rewarding", Los Angeles Times, p. E57.
  6. ^ Ed Bumgardner (28 August 1998). "Korn's Follow the Leader rides the maelstrom", Winston-Salem Journal, p. 4.
  7. ^ Chris Riemenschneider (25 August 1998). "'Follow the Leader': Korn", Austin American-Statesman, p. E2.
  8. ^ a b Mike Boehm (25 August 1998). "Commentary: Korn Flings a Couple of Rotten Kernels: In lyrics on its latest CD, the Huntington Beach band sets a poor example for the rockers it would lead", Los Angeles Times, p. F2. Convenience link (fee required).
  9. ^ "Korn - All in the Family Remixes". Discogs. Retrieved 2010-09-23.