This is a reworking of the 1979 rap landmark "Rapper's Delight
" by The Sugarhill Gang. That song uses some alliterative wordplay in the refrain:Bang bang, the boogie to the boogie
Say up jump the boogie to the bang bang boogie
Rock transforms this into a hardcore scream that sounds like "Bawitdaba da bang de bang diggy," thus the title is "Bawitdaba."
The images in this song are filled with snapshots from Kid Rock's life: topless dancers, crackheads, Southern Comfort, crooked cops, etc. It plays to his origin story and his reputation as a blue-collar rapper close to his roots. Regarding the meaning of the song, he told Q: "I guess that song is about finding good in all people: crackheads, whores, anyone. Instead of looking down on these people, why not try to find some good in them? Although if somebody steals my car to buy crack, I'm gonna kill the motherf--ker."
At concerts, Rock used this as his opening number, letting his DJ, Uncle Kracker, hype the crowd for a while before he made his grand entrance. His opening line, "My name is kiiiiiiiid...," would trigger some pyro. Perhaps his most memorable performance was at Woodstock 1999, where he made a huge impact.
For many, this song was their introduction to Kid Rock. He was a big name in the Detroit music scene and got a deal with Jive Records, which released his debut album in 1990. That pairing didn't work, and the label dropped him soon after. Over the next several years, Rock released two albums independently and kept at it, refining his unrefined style and staying true to his roots as a midwestern white trash rap rocker. He drew huge crowds in the Detroit area, but wasn't able to expand his territory until his signed with Lava Records, which released his album Devil Without A Cause in 1998. Lava was a subsidiary of Atlantic, and had the promotional might to get Kid Rock played on a handful of radio stations around the country, and on MTV with a video for "I Am the Bullgod."
MTV thrives on the eccentric, and viewers had strong feelings about this stubbly white rapper who showed up out of the trailer park with his obscene 3' 9" hype man, Joe C. "Bawitdaba" got a lot of spins on the network, and earned Rock VMA nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Video. At the ceremony, and orchestra played "Bawitdaba" and host Chris Rock was introduced with the opening line: "His name is Chriiiis... Rock." Kid Rock later performed the song, sharing the stage with Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.
The many who hated Kid Rock watched anyway, taking in the spectacle. His fanbase was energized by the vitriol against him and grew more fervent in their following. The album ended up selling over 11 million copies and Kid Rock maintained a legion of fans throughout his career.
Kid Rock livened up the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004 when he took the stage and blasted into this song. That halftime show is far better remembered for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction."