"Loser" is one of the most bizarre songs ever to become a hit. A sample of the lyrics:Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Beck moved to New York at 18, then went back to Los Angeles a year or so later, in 1990. He started making up outlandish raps both to amuse his friends and to check the pulse of the crowds at his bar and coffeehouse gigs where most people wouldn't pay attention. He signed to the independent Bong Load Records in 1991, which connected him with Karl Stephenson, a producer who had done work with the Geto Boys. At Stephenson's house, they wrote and recorded "Loser" in a few hours; Beck hit on the title and chorus after doing some raps and exclaiming, "I'm the worst rapper in the world - I'm just a loser!"
Bong Load didn't release the song until 1993, by which time Beck had released some singles, including one called "MTV Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack
." The song earned airplay on college radio and on some of the more adventurous alternative stations, including KNDD in Seattle, and the major labels came calling. Beck signed with Geffen Records in an unusual deal that let him issue his wares on indie labels as well, including Bong Load. It was far from the highest offer, but gave him the creative freedom he was after. Geffen put him on their alternative imprint, DGC, and released "Loser" in early 1994. With their promotional push, the song took off, climbing to #10 in the US in April. It ended up the biggest hit in Beck's highly eclectic discography.