Throughout the history of music, plenty of bands, singers, groups, whatever you want to call them really, have managed to cultivate a following based on a bad boy or bad girl image that wowed teenagers and pissed off their parents. Don't believe me? Take a look at people's reactions to Elvis Presley back when he was new.
The point is, there's a considerable amount of bank to be made by sounding "tough" or "dangerous," which of course is going to attract a lot of imitators. In the case of these 10 musicians, they tried at some point or another to sound like complete badasses, only to fail miserably.
Vanilla Ice set out to prove that white boys could be just as gangsta as anyone else, and came across as possibly the least intimidating rapper of the 90s. It didn't help that all of the street cred he boasted about was a complete lie.
New Kids On The Block
The original boyband made the absolutely baffling decision to record a song about how "tough" they were, and the result comes off like the musical equivalent of Scrappy-Doo. Fun fact: nobody likes Scrappy-Doo.
Fred Durst is probably the least intimidating frontman to a rap-rock group ever. Even though their songs told us to break stuff and do it all for the nookie, Durst manages to spend each song just sounding like that whiny stoner who complained about having to actually do his homework.
The Chicago frontman howls in this song that he'll fight for your honor, but we have a hard time believing that he's capable of fighting for a sandwich, let alone anybody's honor.
The bands just get less tough from here...
LL Cool J
Don't get me wrong, LL's music was hot as hell when he exploded onto the scene in the 90s, and he had some pretty great hits that we still love today. That being said, he's probably one of the threatening rappers in the game, and I'm pretty sure he and Will Smith throw the tamest parties together.
During the height of rap-rock, Limp Bizkit brought out all the imitators, and no one was more of an imitator than Papa Roach. The band tried to present themselves as tough guys while also playing songs about suicide and the horrors of a broken family, and it all just kinda came off as insincere.
In their defense, Motley Crue actually really did come across as intimidating while touring for Shout At The Devil, with leather getups, dark makeup, and tons of pyrotechnics. However, from Theater of Pain onwards, the costumes got lacier, the songs got racier, and before long the heavy metal grit of their earlier stuff felt more like a pose than anything.
Yes, the band that put out "Butterfly" tried to sound legitimately badass at some point in their career. No, it didn't fool anybody.
Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy
Diddy's pretty much the earliest example of a massively successful rap entrepreneur, and he had more than enough guest appearances, hit albums, and production credits to justify it. However, from a very early point, Diddy just seemed to lose any and all street cred thanks to his success, if he ever even had any in the first place.
Kid Rock makes the list by being a white guy from the Michigan suburbs who tried to pull off two completely different personas: a hardcore thug from the streets, and a good ol' Southern boy. Neither of them are authentic, and neither of them even come close to working.