Kid Rock spent a good portion of the year in the news cycle over a potential political run, but as Rock has since revealed, it was all a prank … one which he truly enjoyed. Speaking with Billboard, Rock reveals that the idea for the Senate run tease came about after it was suggested that by a media report that his name had come up as a possibility for public office by a Michigan state legislator.
“It might be one of the dumber things I’ve ever done, but it was a fuckin’ riot,” Rock laughs. “Man, some of the shit that went on was unbelievable. It started to become real, which got a little scary; I mean I just don’t understand who looks at Kid Rock and goes, ‘Yeah, I see a senator there…’ But it was still a lot of fun in a lot of ways.”
Rock launched a campaign website that included merchandise and also coincided with the release of new music from the singer, tracks that would eventually find a home on his new Sweet Southern Sugar album. And he laughs at how the media took it from there and ran with it. “The press started having their little laugh with it, like they always do. This time I thought, ‘Y’know, I’m gonna fuck with them a little bit.’ We said, ‘Alright, we’re gonna run with this,’ and of course I’m not running for Senate. We were leading everybody on … Man, we had a blast. Every time we’d do something, just watching the press losing their shit over it was hilarious. There were times we couldn’t stop laughing.”
However, as the interest in Rock’s campaign grew, so did the speculation that he would actually enter the race. “Even people in my family or close to me were like, ‘Are you serious?’ Even one of the people who was part of the whole thing, and there were only a few, about two and a half months into it called me and went, ‘Dude, are you seriously gonna do this?’ And I’m like, ‘What the fuck are you talking about? You were in on it when we set this whole thing up! You were one of the designers of the plan!’ People just took it seriously, and the climate was ripe, no doubt, with what happened with Trump. I just saw an in and I said, ‘I’m gonna fuck with motherfuckers.’ But I wouldn’t tell anyone to take offense; I’ve pretty much fucked with motherfuckers from day one.”
Rock says he does feel bad about those who offered their assistance should he decide to enter the race, realizing there were people who felt he could help make a change. And he did encourage voter registration during his faux campaign. But he adds that there was also the ugly side of the political machine, where people attempted to label him a racist and a member of the ultra-right.
“I knew politics are polarized and dirty and I knew what I was opening myself up to, but I didn’t expect to come out at the end labeled as the Klan Wizard, to be honest with you. That was kind of a shocker to me,” says Rock. “This Confederate flag shit had already been addressed and I got an NAACP Award and haven’t talked about it since. People just need to calm down. I guess I didn’t help by stirring the pot, but I really didn’t think people were going to take me that seriously.”
For now, Rock is ready to move on from politics and get back to rock. His Greatest Show on Earth tour kicks off Jan. 19 in Nashville.