#3: FAITH NO MORE
If Rage Against the Machine were the bridge between rap, metal and the mainstream, then Faith No More were their unwitting forefathers, planting the mental seeds in a generation of alternative rockers who grew up on heavy music that, yes, you COULD make a palatable pop song from rhymed spoken words and metal riffs.
But where Rage Against the Machine made every rhyme and riff a part of their rap-metal identity, Faith No More stumbled upon it by accident, and only made it one small part of their diverse sound. Oh, Mike Patton meant to rap and wasn’t doing it in jest; there’s no doubt about that. But Patton never really intended (we can only assume) to make rap-metal a part of the band’s identity. Faith No More experimented with everything under the sun; rapping, singing, metal riffs, catchy pop hooks, scatting, crooning, lounge songs… all there. That a million shitty bands who followed chose to latch on to the fact that Patton rapped over rock music instead of the fact that he was/is an insanely talented, multi-faceted vocalist, or that the band executed everything with startling perfection… well, totally not their fault.
If you wanna get really meta about things, by extension you could probably even blame Patton for the good cop/bad cop approach that’s infected today’s scene/core bands. Sure, Patton was rapping in the verses of “Epic” instead of growling, but at the end of the day, it’s the same fucking thing.
Despite Mike Patton’s influence upon a generation of terrible metal bands, those of us who cherished Faith No More’s music can’t truly hold any ill will against them. Rap over metal could have gone right, and it certainly seemed like a novel idea at the time. FNM can’t be held accountable for all the crap the followed, but they sure as hell can be blamed.
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