I, Fred Durst, would like to sincerely apologize for doing it all for The Nookie. Though it started as our chart-topping Limp Bizkit hit in 1999, “Nookie” is not whom I've grown into as a person, and is not how I choose to present myself each day.
Should I be feelin’ bad? Should I be feelin’ good? Sure. It was the late '90s, and let's be honest: we were all a little unhinged. Most of us were wearing JNCOs and had bowl cuts. We watched Loveline at 3 AM in our parents’ basements to learn about the clitoris. Toe rings were everywhere. So it should come as no surprise that I had one thing on my mind: The Nookie. Fueled by the Golden Age of rap-rock, I was ready to emerge like a phoenix wearing a backward, red Yankees baseball cap, rising from the ashes of Florida.
The summer of 1999 (or, as I refer to it, the Dog Days of Nookie) blessed us. Carson Daly praised “Nookie” on MTV’s Total Request Live. Backward red baseball caps were everywhere. The Nookie became a lifestyle. I lost my priorities. I let my license plates expire. I never called my mother.
Times changed. Once desirous of The Nookie, I found that it began to stifle me, the voice of my generation. I became the gatekeeper of what was and was not Nookie. “Fred, is it Nookish to waterski?” “Can I use tropical breeze laundry detergent on my white tank tops?” “How many red Yankees caps should I own?” They would seek my guidance, waiting for me to approve their choices. And I grew tired. It was so wrong of me to assume that everything was worth doing for just one thing. There is so much more to me, and to life itself, than The Nookie.
Not a day goes by where The Nookie does not haunt me. I've tried to move on, to explore different verticals within the musical realm, and yet The Nookie persists. The people—they crave it. They chant it in throngs at every performance. I can’t go to the grocery store without hearing a “Nookie!” called out by a passer-by. Sometimes I just want to sing a Who cover, but I must digress.
I pause now to appreciate the things I took for granted in life when my fixation with The Nookie went awry: waking up early to see the orange glow of the sunrise. A cup of chamomile tea. Catching a glimpse of a dolphin leaping out of the ocean in Key West. A hot fudge sundae. Holding hands.
I take full responsibility for my actions. I can appreciate the simultaneous nostalgia and regret felt from the whole situation, and understand the consequences. As I move forward in my life, I will strive to expand the horizons of my peers and their kin. For I am so much more than The Nookie.
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