American Bad Ass

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"American Bad Ass"
Single by Kid Rock
from the album The History of Rock
Released April 18, 2000
Recorded 1996 to 2000
Genre Rap metal, heavy metal
Length 4:32
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Kid Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich
Producer(s) Kid Rock
Kid Rock singles chronology
"Wasting Time"
"American Bad Ass"
The History of Rock track listing
"American Bad Ass"
"Prodigal Son"
Live Trucker track listing
"American Bad Ass"
"Rock n' Roll Pain Train"
Music video
"American Bad Ass" on YouTube

"American Bad Ass" is a heavy metal/rap song from American musician Kid Rock, released from his 2000 album The History of Rock. "American Bad Ass" uses the instrumental structure of Metallica's "Sad but True." The song was a victory lap for Devil Without a Cause‍ '​s success.


He also gave nods to his musical heroes including: AC/DC, ZZ Top, Hank Williams, Jr., Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Limp Bizkit, Korn, The Rolling Stones, David Allan Coe, George Jones, Johnny Cash, The Clash, and Grandmaster Flash.

In the song, the word "Oklahoma", a reference to the Oklahoma City bombing with the deaths of 154 civilians, eight law enforcement officers, and six military personnel, is edited out, as the record label didn't want to cause offense.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the single aired on MTV2 upon release, and reached #1 on Canada's MuchMusic Countdown.[1] The song was performed on Saturday Night Live.

At the beginning, Kid Rock watches TV and then after going to a rapping party, he goes to a concert on a cabriolet, surrounded by bikers. At the middle of the song, Kid Rock's car explodes and the thrash metal party starts to play. At the end of the video, Kid Rock with his band plays at a concert on the stage.

The video features a cameo appearance by Ron Jeremy.

In popular culture[edit]

  • After the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000, the song was played on the ship's PA system upon leaving the port of Yemen after the national anthem and other patriotic songs were played.[2]
  • This song was the entrance theme for WWE wrestler The Undertaker for a short time in 2000 under his biker persona. The song's title, "American Bad Ass", eventually became the name of the gimmick.
  • The song was also featured in promotional material for the film adaptions of two popular Hasbro franchises. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, in which their TV spot is aptly titled "American Badass" [3] and Battleship.
  • "American Bad Ass" appeared in the TV spot for the film The Gunman.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "American Bad Ass" (clean album version)
  2. "3 Sheets to the Wind" (Live)
  3. "Cowboy" (Live)


Chart (2000) Peak
Canada Rock (RPM) 24
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 26
Ireland (IRMA) 30
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 81
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 25
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 20
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 33


In 2001, the American glam metal band Tuff made a parody of this song, named "American Hair Band".


External links[edit]