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Why Do People Hate Nu Metal?

Why Do People Hate Nu Metal?

Nu metal is a type of music that was popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. Some people love it, while others can’t stand it. Why do people hate nu metal? This article will explore the answer to this question by discussing why some people like this genre of music, what makes someone dislike it, who plays nu metal music, where you would hear it today.

“Nu metal”, a term that has been thrown around for years, is an often misunderstood genre. People who are unfamiliar with the nu metal genre typically assume it’s just another word for rap or hip-hop. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Nu metal is a fusion of alternative rock and heavy metal music created in the late 90s by popular bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, System of A Down, Slipknot, and Disturbed [1].

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu Metal Now?

Because it harmed much of the progress that had been made during the early to mid-nineties. After hair metal died and “alternative” music took its place, most listeners desired more “authenticity” from their music. So, underground metal was able to continue the work begun by early death metal, black metal, grindcore, and hardcore crossover acts and branch out in a number of new progressive directions (this was the era when Neurosis rose to prominence). So, just as metal was turning a corner in terms of how it appeared from the outside, the mooks’ invasion began [2].

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu Metal Now?

Top Reasons Why Nu Metal Isn’t Metal:

Rap and metal won’t work together

The combination of nu-metal and rapping is, in my opinion, the most heinous musical atrocity imaginable. Blame Anthrax, who mashed up hip-hop with heavy metal on their EP “I’m the Man” in 1987. Rick Rubin shoulders some of the blame for Linkin Park’s transgressions as well. It was like hiring David Hasselhoff to star in Scarface instead of Montana: the world’s lamest genre combined with its coolest. And it didn’t come without consequences [3].

Heavy guitar riffs and screaming are not always metal

Some non-metal bands got confused with their instruments.

For instance, Rage Against The Machine was metal for a while after the release of “Evil Empire” in 1996 until they released their album “Renegades” in 2000 that included rap and nu-metal tracks like “Bulls On Parade” and “Tire Me”. They’ve since given up on being called metal because it’s just not accurate anymore.

Being aggressive and angry doesn’t mean metal

Some bands are angry, aggressive, and loud enough to be metal but they’re not. They think it doesn’t mean there’s no target audience for their music. It doesn’t matter how many chains you wear around your neck or skulls on your clothes if the only thing you’re doing is making pop with an attitude problem then that isn’t metal either.

It can also come across as a joke, which certainly wasn’t helped by Limp Bizkit who labeled themselves “Nu Metal”. Another example of this would be Dope, The Union Underground, etc. Just because you scream over trashy guitars or have deathcore growls does not make it metal!

Being aggressive and angry doesn't mean metal

The nu metal vocals are rough but not melodic

Aside from the try-hard raps that make up a large portion of nu-metal, the voices they used were completely awful. Trent Reznor once likened the sound to kids vying to be the most like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Whining, desperate, tortured, angry, emo mopes that sounded like a trapped dog. It’s almost too much to bear when mixed with lyrics about adolescent isolation and earnest hatred sung by males well past their teens.

The lyrical themes are too simple

Nu metal lyrics are often accused of being too simple, lacking depth, and overly aggressive. That makes sense if you think about who was writing them – angry teenagers! We all know how angsty teenagers are – they’re the same ones who use that “r” word. Nu metal lyrics aren’t complex, but then again neither are pop-punk or hip hop songs at times. The issue is more about their approach to it and some of them make nu-metal seem less legitimate because of it.

Not many metal influences

The metal scene is a massive part of nu-metal but isn’t the only influence and it certainly wasn’t in bands like Linkin Park, who were more influenced by Rage Against The Machine than any other band. So while they do have metal influences, you wouldn’t really know that if all you heard was their debut album Hybrid Theory.

There are some exceptions to this such as Deftones, Mudvayne, Slipknot, etc., which use riffs from 70s hard rock/heavy metal along with modern elements but still classify themselves as “nu-metal”. However, these bands are often seen as outliers because most nu-metal groups don’t contain those influences.

Not many metal influences

When Did Nu Metal Rise and Fall?

Nu metal became the music of the late 1990s, thanks to Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Slipknot.

In the early 1990s, Los Angeles was lifeless. Hair metal had died away, and Aquanet-soaked snootiness would not be witnessed on the Sunset Strip. Instead, a collection of local bands took matters into their own hands to create something from the bottom up.

On October 27, 1995, the Bakersfield band The Corrs played their first British gig at LA2 in London. Their self-titled debut album had already made a modest splash among the more informed rock fans of the country, with 800 people in attendance.

Jonathan Davis, the lead vocalist of Korn, was a former mortuary assistant who whispered, gibbered, and shrieked his way through a set of songs about insecurity, twisted sexuality, and child abuse.

Korn, on the other hand, sounded like nothing that had come before. They twisted Faith No More’s hyperactive rap-metal, Rage Against The Machine’s vociferous anger, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ amplified fury into unrecognizable forms. Guitars were downturned – lyrics were written in a variety of unpleasant colors, and they even played a set of bagpipes during their performance.

Coal Chamber was one of these bands – their singer Dez Fafara, the son of former child actor Tiger Fafara, was a fan of punk rock and 80s synth-pop. When Coal Chamber was formed in 1994, they performed straightforward alt-rock songs. They were only aware that other bands had down-tuned their guitars when they made the decision to do so.

Limp Bizkit was making waves in Jacksonville, Florida, fronted by former tattoo artist Fred Durst. Although their vocalist expressed his outsider status more openly than most of the bands in California, they were hip hop influenced rather than rap.

When Did Nu Metal Rise and Fall?

Although Limp Bizkit was formed 3000 miles from Los Angeles, they became honorary members of this new brotherhood of outcasts after Durst handed Korn’s demo to them when the two groups played Jacksonville.

At the right moment, they jumped on board. The situation was progressing gradually: Korn’s debut album came out in October 1994, and Deftones’ Adrenaline debuted a year later. Korn would bring busloads of Orange County residents up to the venue. The issue is that in order to stand out, everyone had to sound and appear distinct.

When Sepultura released Roots in early 1996, the movement gained even more momentum. Cutaway had Korn’s Jonathan Davis and DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit alongside unwitting scene godfather Mike Patton of Faith No More, who was misidentified as a musical innovator (he later became known as such).

Things were moving at such a rapid pace by the time Limp Bizkit released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill Y’All$, in 1997 that it was all Fred Durst could do to keep his red baseball cap on.

That was nowhere more evident than at Ozzfest, which began as a one-day concert/mini-tour in three cities in 1996 and has since become an immensely popular traveling circus with freaks and oddballs on stage and off.

Ozzfest’s out-of-the-box success sparked a slew of multi-band tours, most notably Korn’s Family Values extravaganza, which began in 1998. Limp Bizkit was at both events and played an important part in the burgeoning hedonism that signaled nu metal’s imperial age.

When Did Nu Metal Rise and Fall?

The floodgates opened after Ozzfest and Family Values, unleashing a tsunami of metal. Nu-metal became an acceptable mainstream proposition. Korn’s Follow the Leader and Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other were major worldwide hits, paving the way for a new generation of bands to ride on their success.

There was Static-X from Chicago, whose lead singer, Wayne Static, sported a hairstyle that looked like the consequence of a strange electrical accident.

Orgy was a group of eyeliner-sporting hair metal refugees who came on like Duran Duran in leather onesies.

Snot, Human Waste Project, Videodrone, Adema, and dozens of other long-forgotten outfits all with their own “crazy” gimmick cranked the dial to “weirdo”.

A nine-piece band from the American Midwest who dressed in jumpsuits and horror-story masks huffed the vapors of deceased birds before performing. Slipknot was an unforgettable experience on all levels, and they would go on to keep the freak flag flying almost entirely alone during the 2000s. But even as they were establishing themselves, more perceptive spectators were becoming aware of a coming change.

A nu-metal band finally put an end to the scene that gave birth to them. Hybrid Theory, the debut album by Linkin Park, was released in 2000. It quickly achieved popularity, selling 5 million copies in its first year (sales eventually exceeded 10 million).

When Did Nu Metal Rise and Fall?

The upside of its popularity was that it set unrealistically high expectations, depleting the air in the room and making others gasp for breath. In this new, hyper-commercial era, a band like Coal Chamber, who resembled an explosion in a nail factory on stage, had no chance.

It didn’t help that the previous several years had taken their toll, with personal and chemical excesses becoming increasingly difficult to endure. Drug addiction plagued Korn and Deftones members, as well as 75 percent of Coal Chamber, who after their third release, Dark Days, broke up.

Limp Bizkit was also facing difficulties. Their third studio album, Chocolate Starfish And The Hotdog Flavored Water had been a huge commercial success in 2000.

However, there were 10 people who despised them in every group that loved them, and, in particular, Fred Durst. One of these persons was their own guitarist, Wes Borland, who left in 2001 due to guilt at the band’s trajectory.

Results May Vary, Limp Bizkit’s terrible 2003 album, single-handedly destroyed what was left of the scene. It was a failure and Limp Bizkit were yesterday’s men.

When Did Nu Metal Rise and Fall?

Over the next few years, nu-metal became a swear word. Some musicians pressed on (Korn, Limp Bizkit), while others wisely bailed out (System Of A Down). Some bands reinvented themselves as more straightforward rock bands in order to stay competitive (latecomers-to-the-party Papa Roach). Slipknot, for example, was able to maintain a positive trend despite being part of the minority.

But then something strange occurred. The passage of time and a scarcity of a suitable location for misfits to attach themselves to, combined to create a nostalgia for nu-metal. Korn, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Coal Chamber made up the 2013 Download lineup. Cane Hill is one of several contemporary groups that flaunt their nu-metal influences loudly [4].


1. What does NU in nu metal mean?

Nu metal was dubbed “nu” because it was hefty, dark and because it wasn’t really metal.

The genre’s initial boom period may have been a little too influenced by nu metal, which took a punk-like approach to the music. Although the energy and aggression of metal were present, the technical ability was not in most cases.

This isn’t necessarily a negative thing; it allowed for a lot of creativity among what was then an otherwise stagnant (at least, in terms of major acts – there was plenty of great underground metal throughout the 1990s and 2000s) genre. The majority of the nu metal bands incorporated elements that were very far away from metal, such as DJs, electronics, rap, and hip hop music.

These, combined with influences from grunge, industrial, and to a lesser extent “more traditional” metal, formed a new blend of sounds that was neither metal nor easily categorized in any other category – hence the “nu” in “nu metal” [5].

2. Why is nu metal so hated on Reddit?

It’s most likely because Limp Bizkit is the band most closely associated with it. Despite the fact that other bands, such as Disturbed or Linkin Park, are widely accepted, System of a Down, Rage Against The Machine, or Deftones are all highly regarded. Nobody wants to be called that for those other bands because it’s demeaning [6].

Nu metal is despised by many on Reddit because of how different from traditional metal it was, drawing in elements such as rapping that were previously unheard of among what was then an otherwise stagnant (at least, in terms of major acts – there was plenty of great underground metal throughout the 1990s and 2000s) genre. The majority of the nu-metal bands incorporated elements that were very far away from metal, such as DJs, electronics, rap music, and hip-hop. These combined with influences from grunge.

3. Is nu metal toxic?

It’s just a term used to describe the music and even so, it was never meant as an insult or bad thing. Some people may think that because there were aspects of hip hop at play in nu metal (rap-based vocal delivery), then it must be bad for similar reasons as gangsta rap – violence and misogyny towards women.

However, this is simply untrue; many bands made very diverse lyrics that were completely opposite from those stereotypes such as Korn who wrote about depression and despair caused by familial issues among other things (most famously their song “Daddy”). Some bands were quite toxic in terms of their behavior and lyrics while the others explored really important themes like depression or suicidal thoughts.

4. Why was nu metal so popular?

The early nu metal bands had the advantage of being at a time when rock was not popular. Pop music ruled, which is why many people found it more appealing to listen to something different and new like Korn or Limp Bizkit who brought an entirely different vibe than what most listeners were used to (if they even listened to anything else besides pop).

It didn’t hurt that these artists appealed directly towards teenagers with their lyrics about depression, anger, self-loathing, etc., things that are often associated with adolescence. It’s no coincidence that all those themes also show up in other forms of entertainment targeted mostly at young audiences such as superhero comics or animated shows. The fact remains though – there really wasn’t much competition back then so that helped as well.

Nu metal was mostly hated by critics and true metalheads because it wasn’t actually that different from grunge, which they were already sick of at the time. They felt like nu metal bands just co-opted those “grungy” vocals for a quick buck and didn’t really bring anything new to the table.

Most fans who hate on nu metal now are usually either trying to impress other people or aren’t old enough to have experienced any of this music when it came out in its prime – sometimes both! It’s easy to make fun of something no one likes anymore but can you still truly say why? Nu metal may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there is certainly something to it and you’re missing out if you don’t at least give it a chance.

5. Is nu metal cool again?

No. It was never cool in the first place and it didn’t help that nu metal bands often came across as very immature, which made them easy to hate on by critics who also disliked their music for most of those same reasons.

Some people say they like a few songs from some artists but there’s no reason why something can’t be enjoyed unless you actually find it appealing or interesting – both of which are subjective terms since not everyone will have the same opinion about this type of music even if they’re open-minded enough to consider giving it a try.

As evidenced above though, many people do enjoy listening to nu metal so what makes someone else think that their taste is superior? This leaves us with only one conclusion: Those detractors just don’t like it and isn’t that their right?

6. What is the most successful nu metal band?

Some of the most popular nu metal bands were Korn, Deftones, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Deftones, Static X, P.O.D, Mudvayne [7].

7. Is there any good nu metal?

It seems to depend on the person and what they like about it. Some people love nu metal because of its catchy beats, while others think that there’s more to it than just the music itself. Nu metal is a very specific genre but some bands were able to incorporate different elements from other genres into their songs as well which made them interesting even if you didn’t consider yourself a fan of this type of music.

In many cases, those artists used dark themes in their lyrics or had an overall negative vibe associated with them (Korn being one example), which might be something listeners could relate to after going through a tough time themselves – either emotionally or otherwise. Lyrics can mean different things depending on listens so don’t assume right away that they were all about murder and suicide or some other negative topic.

Perhaps the best thing to do is give it a chance, listen for yourself if you can spare the time instead of listening to people talk shit about something without any real knowledge of what they’re talking about because chances are things might not be as bad as everyone says. Try looking at this music with an open mind and see how you feel after that – your opinion could change forever!

8. Is Linkin Park nu metal?

Linkin Park is considered to be a nu metal/alternative band, although they didn’t sound exactly like some of their peers. Their first two albums were both successful and received positive reviews from critics for the most part as well as plenty of fans (until after Meteora).

Their music was different enough that it could’ve appealed to people who might not have been into anything else similar at the time. Even if you’re open-minded about this type of thing, there’s still no guarantee that every single song by every artist will be your cup of tea (or coffee or whatever else you choose to drink instead) but sometimes those differences make all the difference in the world.

What really changed with Linkin Park though is how they evolved and became more mainstream, which didn’t sit well with some of their fans even if they stopped sounding like Korn or Mudvayne in the process. They still had a lot to offer but for many people that was already enough since it sounded different from other bands at the time – this is where things get interesting because not everyone will have the same opinion about something so you’re free to disagree with them.

9. Are the Deftones nu metal?

The Deftones is another band that’s considered to be part of the nu metal scene, although not everyone would agree with this classification. This has a lot to do with their music and especially Chino Moreno’s vocals which sound very different from other bands in this genre (which might or might not be your thing depending on how you feel about it).

Many critics praised White Pony for being unique and creative so if you’re looking for something more than just catchy beats and party songs then give them a chance since they have plenty of material out there where they show off their potential as musicians. They never had any radio hits but some people think that doesn’t matter – what matters most is finding something interesting regardless of whether or not it sounds like what you’d normally listen to.

10. Why did System of a Down break up?

The band eventually came to an end due to creative differences. In 2008, Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway was established by the second vocalist, Malakian. System of a Down became well-known for its political songs in its heyday when heavy metal was dying in the ’90s [8].

Useful Video: Why some metalheads hate nu metal


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu_metal
  2. https://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/why-does-everybody-hate-nu-metal-your-metal-questions-answered
  3. https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/10-reasons-why-nu-metal-was-the-worst-genre-of-all-time-764675
  4. https://www.loudersound.com/features/revenge-of-the-freaks-how-nu-metal-took-over-the-world
  5. https://www.quora.com/Why-is-nu-metal-called-nu-metal-Is-it-literally-in-the-name-because-it-was-a-new-style-of-metal-or-is-there-another-reason
  6. https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsTalkMusic/comments/ihncmj/why_is_nu_metal_so_hated_by_music_fans/
  7. https://spinditty.com/genres/100-Best-Nu-Metal-Bands
  8. https://www.theoakleafnews.com/arts-entertainment/2020/11/18/system-of-a-down-is-back-with-two-chilling-new-tracks