Say what you will about Kid Rock, but the 40-year-old Detroit rapper/rocker -- who still lives in Michigan -- is one of the few celebs out there who seems to have stayed true to his roots and keeps it real. In the May issue of Esquire, Kid Rock (aka Bob Ritchie) reveals a few of the lessons he's learned thus far in life, as well as why he's not a fan of the stage name he chose for himself as a teen. "It's the worst name in the world," he laughs. "The only person that had a dumber name than me was the Fresh Prince. Hey, it sounded like a cool rap name when I was sixteen. But it stuck, and now it's me. I'll be an 80-year-old man -- 'call me the Kid.'"
The "Born Free" singer has also come to the realization that life is too short to waste your time hanging out with losers. "Surround yourself with good people," he advises. "Whether they're the best or not, people are capable of learning if they've got good hearts and they're good souls."
He imparted these words of wisdom at his alma mater, Romeo High School in Romeo, Michigan, on Wednesday, where he made a surprise appearance at the school's pep assembly. "Be true to yourself," he told the kids. "Be who you are in your heart. Don't hang out with idiots. If you surround yourself with good people, you'll go far. If you start hanging out with knuckleheads, you'll be right in the knucklehead section the rest of your life."
In addition to autographing shirts and CDs for the students, Kid Rock donated a signed guitar to be raffled off, and presented the school with a $5,000 check for its music program. Interestingly enough, he admits in Esquire that he is fully aware of the fact he is not the most talented musician in the world. "I know I'm not the best. I'm not the best singer, I'm not the best songwriter, I'm not the best player. But I know that what I [expletive] do, I'm the best at."
You might be surprised to know that Kid Rock is also pretty good at being a dad -- he has a 17-year-old son named Robert Jr. -- when he's just being Bob Ritchie. "Kenny Chesney called me -- we were talking about a tour or something," he recalls. "He texted me real early in the morning. It must have been six in the morning. And I texted him back. And he asked me, 'Were you up all night?' I said, 'No, no, I'm getting up for my son.' He said, 'Holy [expletive], don't worry, I'm not going to tell anybody you were up this early, because it'll ruin your image.' I go, 'You can't ruin my image.' Make no mistake: Bob Ritchie's up early in the morning taking pictures of his son on the first day of his senior year. Kid Rock is passed out in a hotel room somewhere with four scantily clad women."
As for what he'd be doing today if he hadn't hit it big as Kid Rock? "It's simple: I'd be broke Kid Rock," he cracks.
To read more of Kid Rock's deep thoughts, check out his full interview at Esquire.com.
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