Kid Rock brings one long party to Rexall

Kid Rock is an interesting dude. My colleague Mike Ross likes to note that Rock was the first guy who managed to sell rap to southern white country kids, which would make just about anyone shake their heads.

That’s not an easy task and few have pulled it off, none as successfully.

From “Cowboy” off his 1997 breakthrough album “Devil Without A Cause” to the insane cheesiness of “All Summer Long” mashing Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” he’s a particular taste: mostly young, beer drinking, pot-smoking kids looking for summer fun. Kid Rock plays Rexall Place tonight, with opening guests The Trews (see preview story). Doors are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available here.

Dude has always been a performer, first and foremost and that’s a good thing, because as a rapper, he has the street cred of a Mars Bar. A privileged kid from the Detroit suburbs (his parents owned horses), Rock got his nickname while DJ’ing at basement parties. That’s him looking all Corey-Haim-Meets-Vanilla-Ice, at right.

He worked harder than just about anybody in the business to make it, winning and losing three different label deals before finally getting some indie notoriety for a self-produced disc….produced with a loan from his parents….and then hitting it big on his fourth try.

So, we’re not talking about a heart-wrenching tale of rising up from the ghetto. But nobody gets that many offers over that period of time and perseveres if they don’t have the integral component to professionally performing in public: some actual talent.

Hey, he played all of the instruments on a couple of his CDs. This guy’s no dummy: witness his shrewd use of tightbodied hotties in his videos. In fact, his Twisted Brown Trucker Band predates all of his big success, suggesting he realized a long time before hitting it big that there were just as many poor white ghetto kids out there as there were poor black ghetto kids. They just most lived in trailer parks instead of tenements.

That’s a hell of a demographic for a guy who wants to guarantee he’ll always have an audience — or who maybe wishes he was a little more down home than his upper-crust roots.

It ain’t art, but it is honest. And it sure goes purty with beer.