By Tom Sinclair
Updated December 24, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Rap Mettle

Kid Rock approaches his raging rap-metal with the same too-much-ain’t-enough gusto with which he indulges his passion for Jim Beam, cigars, and strippers. Anyone who’s heard songs like ”Cowboy” and ”Bawitdaba” from his multiplatinum CD Devil without a cause knows they deliver what too much rap-rock fusion is missing: pure, unadulterated lowbrow fun, served up with a wink and a leer. The Detroit native (ne Bob Ritchie, 27), who loves Run-DMC and the Marshall Tucker Band with equal ardor, is no newcomer—Kid Rock’s been making (commercially unsuccessful) albums since the days when nightmare whitey Vanilla Ice ruled the charts. Now that the lean years are behind him and he’s leading the hip metal/heavy hop brigade, he claims he never doubted that phat times would come. ”It just got to the point where I could no longer be denied,” he says. ”I know a lot of people said, ‘I hope this little f — -er never makes it because he’s so cocky.’ But I polished my skills to the point where people had to come around.” Spoken like a true cowboy, baby.