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Kracking The Code

With production and rapping courtesy of megaplatinum hip-hopper Kid Rock, you’d think Uncle Kracker’s debut, Double Wide, would have been a sure-fire hit.

Kracker, who came to prominence as Kid Rock’s DJ, released his southern-rock-hip-hop album last June to a collective shrug. The poppy first single “Yeah Yeah Yeah” failed to hit the charts and a follow-up single, “Follow Me,” seemed headed for the same dead end.

Then, earlier this year, “Follow Me,” with a video featuring a cameo from pal Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, began to pick up steam. Suddenly the soft-spoken Kracker was camping out in the top 10 and prepping his first solo tour. Again, the key for Kracker was landing a more radio-friendly cut on pop radio.

But the rapper admitted he was bummed when his solo bid didn’t make much noise. “There was no radio, no MTV, no nothing in the beginning,” Kracker said. “And all of a sudden, as soon as there was radio and MTV and VH1, it takes off.”

Just as Sting and Moby proved no one blinks an eye at the rock/advertising connection any longer, Rennie said he hopes the success of bands like Incubus and Crazy Town prove that going pop doesn’t mean going soft.

“A number of rock bands say, ‘No, we won’t go to pop radio,'” Rennie said. “But you know what? It’s strange to discriminate and say who can and can’t be part of your world. Can you do it without losing your rock edge? Absolutely.”

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