People are trying to work out the meaning behind an obscure Limp Bizkit lyric from 1999 - and it involves WWE wrestling and, erm, butts

Fred Durst and Ken Shamrock
(Image credit: Getty / WWE)

A relatively b-list Limp Bizkit song from 1999 is suddenly the unexpected source of conversation on Twitter - thanks to one key lyric from the track that still has fans baffled over two decades since it was written.

The song in question, 9 Teen 90 Nine, was first released on Bizkit's smash hit sophomore record, Significant Other, and while it's easily one of the lesser-celebrated tracks on the album, its lyrical matter is, apparently, worth taking a closer look at.

Near the end of the song, frontman Fred Durst raps the curious line: 'You wanna be down with the G shock / Fuck the glam rock, assed out like Ken Shamrock'. Ken Shamrock is a former mixed martial artist competitor who helped to establish UFC during its earliest days, fighting at the MMA promotion's very first show in 1993. By 1999, however, his career had taken a slight left-turn, as he was making regular appearances as a professional wrestler in WWE (then WWF), facing off against the likes of The Rock, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker.

Fred Durst is a renown wrestling fan, having soundtracked The Undertaker's entrance music in the early 2000s courtesy of Bizkit banger Rollin', making numerous appearances at WWE live events and even appearing in two WWE video games. Still, the meaning of the lyric itself is causing some serious confusion - not least thanks to there being some mixed messages on what the term 'assed out' actually means.

The debate was sparked by the track being posted online by beloved, nu metal-championing Twitter account @numetal_moment, with one follower responding soon after: "Love the song, but can someone explain the lyric, "assed out like Ken Shamrock" to me?". @numetal_moment responded to the question, acknowledging that even they didn't know the true meaning behind the lyric - "Yeah, keep me posted on that too."

Then, the analyses began. "Ken Shamrock was a pro wrestler who specialized in MMA-based offense. I'm not sure about the part talking about his kiester though," offered one follower, somewhat unhelpfully. "Really weird that he didn’t just say “tap you out like Ken Shamrock"," said another. One theory came from Twitter user @Bocksar_racer, who suggested: "Shot in the dark, and iirc, Shamrock got a bit of flack from hardcore UFC/MMA fans for leaving for the "safer" confines of the WWF/Pro Wrestling. Something to do with that?" "Dude’s a bare knuckle boxer, probably just means “getting your shit rocked"," responded another user, seemingly choosing not to look too deeply into the whole thing.

Then people began theorising on the meaning behind "assed out" itself, with @JennWyer claiming: "Ass out" is slang for "homeless."" "Counter suggestion," argued @paulohmygod, "they mean he has a nice ass," helpfully posting a photo of Shamrock's behind to consolidate the point.

Finally, someone with a slightly more logical approach entered the conversation, pointing to the ridiculous storylines that underpinned some of WWF's 'Attitude Era' in the late-90s.

"I'm gonna choose to believe that this is a reference to some obscure "ass out" match that Shamrock participated in during the Attitude Era," they offered, "wherein the loser of the match had to pull their ass out."

This sparked a concrete theory from @sheville, who noted: "There was a brief rivalry between Shamrock and Mr Ass Billy gunn in early 99 after Billy mooned his sister." 

As a longtime wrestling fan, this writer can confirm that there was an inexplicable surplus of, erm, 'ass-based' humour in the WWF during that era (indeed, even to this day, Billy Gunn's gimmick remains decidedly ass-focused), so this theory may indeed hold up. Until Fred Durst himself can confirm all this, though, we'll just have to remain in the dark for now.

Limp Bizkit recently announced their return to Europe for a series of rescheduled dates next year.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.