Despite being billed as Hard Rock tune, Nickelback’s “Rockstar” is one hell of a Country Rock song, sharing the same southern twang & blue-collar appeal of most modern Country tunes, as well as a disdain for mainstream Rock music in general & the supposedly “hoity-toity” culture of Hollywood. For the entirety of this song, vocalist Chad Kroeger rattles off lines about the stereotypical life of glitz & glamour associated with being a Rockstar, from “[getting] a front door key to the Playboy mansion” to “[living] in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars;” Each line coincides with examples everyone’s seen of a Glam Metal or Classic Rock band’s lifestyle, surrounded by women, money & cars, seemingly living the sweet life at the top of the food chain – Ironically, this is all meant to be a satirical observation on the unrealistic expectations set by Rockstar culture of the past & how you’d have to “trade this life for fortune and fame […] cut your hair & change your name” to achieve any of it, yet that’s exactly the life Nickelback are living & exactly what they would eventually do to survive as musicians & achieve more fame, literally cutting their hair & changing their sound to maintain their status & keep the paychecks coming in to fund their mansions.
While the underlying message of “Rockstar” has fallen on deaf ears, fans still recognize it as a party-time song for the “downtrodden,” somewhat of an anthem for backwoods folk, frat-boy culture & “alternative” lifestyles, representing the hard-headed nature of those who don’t fit in to any mainstream boxes. The accompanying music video tries to capitalize on this by featuring a supercut of people from all different races & lifestyles singing the lyrics one at a time to the camera; There are men, women, children, Playboy models, sorority girls, celebrities & fellow musicians strewn about the clips, attempting to show that the band’s message applies to every type of person, but the underlying theme in 80% of the shot is a sort of raunchy party aesthetic focused solely on sexy women & musicians who are known for their crass behaviour – It’s really just a mess of a production that isn’t entertaining in the least; The fact that the video doesn’t even try to shy away from the Rockstar aesthetic of booze & boobs just proves how little Nickelback actually care about the parody they’re attempting to convey, solidifying a dirtbag aesthetic & earning them much of the hate they receive for simply existing
"Rockstar is the fifth U.S. single by the Canadian rock band Nickelback from their fifth album, All the Right Reasons (2005). It was initially only released in the United States and Canada, and has since been re-released worldwide. The lyrics feature the pretentious, materialistic desires of a wannabe rockstar, who craves money, cars and women. Spoken-word vocals between each verse are provided by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top."