Kid Rock said he sometimes tells himself to “shut the f––– up” after political outbursts.

He delivered a series of increasingly typical controversial comments during an interview with Rolling Stone reporter David Peisner, who aimed to establish how much of his seemingly extreme right-wing arguments he really believed.

Peisner was unable to reach a conclusion in his article, headlined “How Kid Rock Went From America’s Favorite Hard-Partying Rock Star to a MAGA Mouthpiece.”

Rock discussed a short film he’d made with Sean Penn, the message of which was: “Don’t Let Politics Divide Us. Thinking Differently ... Is What Made This Country Great.” He commented: “That thing’s more relevant now than when we made it. The message isn’t getting across.”

Asked if Rock himself was making it more difficult to send that message, he replied: “I’m part of the problem. I’m one of the polarizing people, no question. Sometimes I bitch about other people, then I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, why don’t you shut the fuck up too?’”

He added: “It’s a rich-guy issue. No fucks left. I’m not going to get it right every time, but I know my heart’s right. I want the best for this country.”

However, later in the day – once he was drinking heavily – Rock delivered a series of outbursts that, on the face of it, appeared to be bigoted. As Peisner left, Rock (real name Robert Richie) told him: “Just write the most horrific article about me. Do it. It helps me.” He called after him: “Will you tell everyone that I was halfway cool?”

Interviews with former friends and colleagues resulted in the suggestions that Rock’s difficult relationship with his father was part of his increasingly controversial behavior in recent years. One person said the apparent character change felt like “losing a family member” while another expressed bewilderment over the dramas.

Is Kid Rock Just Desperate to Stay in the Spotlight?

“One theory several people I interviewed offered is that [his] right-wing awakening is as much about managing the emotional fallout of a waning career as it is about any deep- seated beliefs,” Peisner wrote, in an attempt to sum up the article he’d been working on for a year.

“He’s always longed for the spotlight, and now, as a 53-year-old more than a decade removed from his last big hit, he’s doing whatever he can to keep it on him. Although he remains a big live draw, when you’re accustomed to the endorphin hit that comes with being at the white-hot center of pop culture, you may find playing a casino in Sacramento or the fairgrounds in Gonzales doesn’t provide the same rush.

“That’s not to say Kid Rock’s politics don’t reflect Bob Ritchie’s beliefs, but yelling them so loudly feels performative. The real question is whether he’s satisfied doing that.”

PICTURES: See Inside Kid Rock's Luxurious Childhood Home

Kid Rock has a rough-and-tumble image, but he didn't exactly grow up in humble circumstances. His childhood home was a 5,660-square-foot luxury home in Michigan, situated on 5.5 acres that includes 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 5-car garage, along with a partially finished walkout and guest house. There's also a 3 stall horse barn, regulation tennis court and inground pool. The 22-room house was renovated in 2004, and it also has a hot tub and a wet bar.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker


More From Taste of Country