1998 turns twenty years old this year and 1998 just so happens to have been the “Year of Nu-Metal” so we here at Hi-Top HQ broke out our Adidas track suits, twisted up our dreads and tuned down our 7-String Ibanez Guitars to bring to Hi-Top Nation The Hi-Top Top 39 Nu-Metal Songs of All-Time.
39. (hed) P.E.
What was (hed) P.E.? Why was their name so stupid and spelled even more stupidly? Sadly these are questions no one will ever be able to answer.
38. P.O.D “Youth of the Nation”
Oh “The Youth”. Won’t anyone ever think of “The Youth”? Well P.O.D. did and they had something real deep to say, like maybe kids shouldn’t shoot other kids. Jokes aside it’s pretty ridiculous America is still dealing with this shit and we don’t even get any rap-metal anthems anymore.
37. Limp Bizkit
A few notes here – 1) Good or bad, you’re getting a lot of Bizkit on this list. 2) This list is a spell check nightmare – pray for your pup Lil’ Dogg folks cuz these band names are rough. 3) Nookie is probably the Bizkit’s most famous song but also probably their worst and that’s a mean feat to pull off.
36. Anthrax “I’m the Man”
Fun Fact – Nu-Metal or Rap Metal may have peaked in 1998 but it certainly was not invented in 1998. Peep one of, if not the first (and also most forgotten when it comes to the idea of “Who invented Rap Metal”?) practitioners of the genre, 80s thrash heroes Anthrax. This video is all types of 80s Awesome by the by.
35. Korn “Freak on a Leash”
Another band you will see a few times. This possibly the best video on the list. The flying bullet shit still looks cool as hell.
34. Kid Rock “I am the Bullgod”
What the hell is a Bullgod? Why does Kid Rock suck so so so damn hard? So many unanswerable Nu-Metal questions.
33. Kittie “Brackish”
Fun Hi-Top Fact – Kittie ranks number 3 on Le Cap’s All-Time Favorite Concert Going Experiences. The dude just loves him some Canadian Metal Chicks. Also, Nu-Metal didn’t always mean “Rap”. Sometimes it was just “new” Metal.
32. Mudvanye “Dig”
What was up with these guys???? Seriously I’d like to know. If you’re Big Idea is to rip off Kiss then you are out of ideas cuz Kiss is without a doubt the lamest worst most awful band of all-time. Also Kiss sucks and Gene Simmons and the other dude are the Worst.
31. Deadsy “Grammercy Park”
The Lil’ Dogg rides for Deadsy. This comes out in 1987 and they tour with Depeche Mode, Deadsy would have been world beaters. Also Elijah Blue is Cher and Duane Altman’s son and this is him on guitar at like at 8 years old next to his half-naked mom:
30. Custom “Hey Mister”
Was this Nu-Metal? Sure why not. All I know is ‘BCN played this about 20 times a day for two months straight.
29. Days of the New “Shelf in the Room”
Nu-Metal goes acoustic.
28. lostprophets “Shinobi v Dragon Ninja”
Nu-Metal goes prog.
27. Puddle of Mud “Blurry”
Nu-Metal goes pop.
26. Godsmack “Keep Away”
Nu-Metal goes…old. Seriously these dudes were like 45 when this song broke big.
25. Limp Bizkit “Counterfeit”
Before the red Yankees hat, the Bizkit were more a weirdo art metal band than a frat bro mosh fest. Yes it changed quickly but it is true.
24. Sevendust “Black”
Don’t know a lot about Sevendust but I know this got played a lot on ‘AAF, if that’s worth anything. Hint – it’s not.
23. Staind “Mudshovel”
The only Staind song that isn’t completely mind numbingly annoying. Listen the Lil’ Dogg just tells it like it is. Facts is facts folks. Facts is facts.
22. P.O.D. “Boom”
P.O.D. had another song? Yes they did. And it was better than Youth of the Nation.
21. Kid Rock “Bawitdaba”
20. Orgy “Blue Monday”
Nu-Metal and cover songs went together like white guys and dreadlocks. Which is to say they were frequent sights but hardly great ideas. Sometimes there are exceptions though.
19. Limp Bizkit “Faith”
The song that turned the whole thing on its head. Nu-Metal doesn’t blow up the way it does if it isn’t for Faith.
18. Deftones “Back to School”
The Deftones were Nu-Metal but also way way more.
17. System of a Down “Toxicity”
Frank Zappa fronting…well I’m not sure but doesn’t Serj look an awful lot like Frank Zappa? I can’t be the only one who sees this.
16. Taproot “Poem”
True story – The Lil’ Dogg once had dinner at the childhood home of the Taproot bass player. Yeah this pup is big time.
15. Korn “A.D.I.D.A.S”
The video. This one is all about the video.
14. Limp Bizkit “My Way”
Terrible video. Surprisingly good song.
13. Alien Ant Farm “Smooth Criminal”
The biggest one hit wonder of a genre full of one “hit” wonders.
12. Papa Roach “Last Resort”
Is this song good? Like actually good? It’s been 20 years and I still can’t tell.
11. Korn “Blind”
Korn was doing this while every other band in the world was trying to rewrite STP songs so props to them for forging their own sound alone.
10. Body Count “There Goes the Neighborhood”
Ice-T was doing it first(ish) but never gets any credit. That’s why Hi-Top is here. To give Ice-T the credit he deserves.
9. Sum 41 “Fat Lip”
The band may be pop punk but this song is nu-Metal for sure.
8. System of a Down “Chop Suey”
“Wake Up! Why don’t you…ummmm something something something”. But it sure is fun to yell “Wake Up!”
7. Limp Bizkit “Break Stuff”
All Bizkit jokes aside when this song comes on you get hyped or you don’t have a pulse.
6. Korn “Got the Life”
Korn’s best effort plain and simple.
5. Static X “Push It”
Quite simply a banger. This song bangs. End of story. Oh yeah the dude’s hair.
4. Deftones “Be Quiet and Drive”
Deftones with the 1-2 Punch right here. Both of these songs are top notch.
3. Deftones “My Own Summer”
Video – Awesome. Song – Awesome. The whole Top 10 could have been Deftones frankly.
2. Faith No More “Epic”
Faith No More was a lot of things and the simple fact is Nu-Metal wouldn’t exist if Faith No More didn’t exist first.
1. Drowning Pool “Bodies”
“Let the Bodies hit the floor”. A shocker at Number 1. Facts is facts folks and THIS SONG KICKS ASS!
P.S. If you’ve made it this far then perhaps you’ve noticed that two giants are missing – Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys. While the Beasties may have inadvertently invented Nu-Metal they certainly weren’t a part of it. And as for Rage well they were simply too far superior to be lumped in with these guys.