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Kid Rock does things his way: 6 things to know about the rock/rap/country hybrid

Kid Rock will perform Sept. 1, at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek with  Brantley Gilbert and Wheeler Walker Jr.
Kid Rock will perform Sept. 1, at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek with Brantley Gilbert and Wheeler Walker Jr.

Kid Rock continues to defy expectations.

The right-leaning rap-rocker is friends with President Donald Trump and supported Mitt Romney.

Behind the scenes, he’s proven to be a complex celebrity who does things his own way.

On Sept. 1, he’ll perform at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek with Brantley Gilbert and Wheeler Walker Jr.

Here are some things to know about this musician based on the rare interviews he grants with music journalists, including myself.

1. Behind the scenes

Kid Rock, born Robert Ritchie, is a straight-shooter who is as obsessed with sports as he is with music. In my interview with him about a decade ago with the now-defunct Ramp magazine, he was engaging and amusing. After talking with two hours before his show, I thought the interview was finished. But Rock asked if I would return post-concert, and we spent an additional two hours chatting about his beloved Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings and his take on relationships.

2. He’s versatile

Rock is a self-taught musician, who can play all of the basic rock instruments and then some. Just ask former NHL star/commentator Jeremy Roenick. When the NHL brass wasn’t crazy about the choice of Kid Rock to perform in January at the NHL All-Star game in Tampa, Roenick offered an endorsement.

“When I talk to people about you, I say, ‘Kid Rock is the most talented musician, I think, ever on the planet,” Roenick said to Rock during an interview with USA Today’s For The Win. “You can put any instrument in your hand or on your mouth, and you can play anything and rock a house, and sing any kind of genre.”

3. He embraces genre shifts

Much like Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish, Rock has embraced country. Since the release of 2010’s “Born Free,” Rock has primarily released country tunes. Country music’s Gilbert and Walker are his opening acts.

4. He gives back

Rock donates a considerable amount of money to charity through the Kid Rock Foundation and especially supports his beloved Detroit. According to his foundation website, he raises money to “create awareness of local and regional charities helping disadvantaged children, victims of war and natural disasters, and those suffering from illness.”

5. Kid Rock for Senate?

Less than a year ago Rock, teased a Detroit audience that he might consider a run for the Michigan Senate. Rock ultimately didn’t toss one of his many hats into the ring, but certainly excited his hometown fanbase with the possibility.

6. Bipartisan views

In a world of politically correct behavior, Rock doesn’t care what anyone thinks. If you don’t like his pro-gun stance, Rock says it doesn’t matter, he has his fans and that’s all that matters. That said, despite his conservative beliefs, Rock believes women have the right to choose. “I am no fan of abortion, but it’s not up to a man to tell a woman what to do,” Rock told the Guardian.

Details

Who: Kid Rock, Brantley Gilbert and Wheeler Walker Jr.

When: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 1

Where: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh

Cost: $49.50 to $129.50

Info: LiveNation.com or 919-831-6400

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