Kid Rock (also known as Bobby Shazam) is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper who was born Robert James Ritchie on January 17, 1971. His music is a mix of rock, hip hop, country, and heavy metal.
He is a self-taught musician who plays all of the instruments in his backing band and produced all but two of his albums. He began his career as a rapper and DJ, releasing his debut album Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast on Jive Records in 1990.
His successive indie recordings, The Polyfuze Method (1993) and Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp (1996) saw him establish a more distinct style, which was completely realized on his breakout album Devil Without a Cause (1998), which sold 14 million copies worldwide.
This album, as well as its follow-up, Cocky (2001), was notable for combining hip hop, country, rock, and heavy metal elements. “Cowboy,” his most successful track from that time, is regarded as a pioneering song in the country rap genre.
Kid Rock was born Robert James Ritchie on January 17, 1971, in Romeo, Michigan, to Susan and William Ritchie, who owned several auto dealerships.
Kid Rock began his professional music career in the late 1980s as a member of the hip hop group The Beast Crew. He met rapper D-Nice around this time. As a result of their friendship, he became the opening act for Boogie Down Productions’ local events.
Kid Rock signed with Continuum, a local independent record label, in 1992. Mike E. Clark, who was producing the duo at the time, introduced Kid Rock to local hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse. Although ICP member Violent J loathed Kid Rock’s music, he wanted the rapper to perform on the band’s debut album, Carnival of Carnage, believing that the inclusion would help the band attract attention because Kid Rock was a nationally recognized artist.