The Offspring Get 'Fly,' Indulge In Americana: Wake-Up Video

When Green Day ushered in the next wave of punk with Dookie back in 1994, they opened the floodgates for a number of bands who broke through to the mainstream. In addition to Rancid and (later) Blink-182, by far the biggest success of that next wave was the Offspring. Built from the wreckage of Los Angeles hardcore and stoned California skate punk, the Offspring crashed radio and MTV with head-banging shout-alongs like "Self Esteem" and "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)," which pushed their 1994 album Smash to multi-platinum status. After signing to a major label and stumbling a bit with their 1997 follow-up Ixnay on the Hombre, the band returned to the upper echelons of the Billboard charts with Americana, which was released on this day in 1998.

Americana saw the Offspring expanding on their core sound and adding elements of metal and prog rock to their buzzsaw approach. The clearest expansion came on the massive single "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)," a punchy, funky blast of sneering bile aimed at wannabe gangsters (who at the time were threatening to take over all of popular culture). Lead singer Dexter Holland used his adenoidal wail to paint a picture of a kid hopping on ever hip-hop trend available, and the video (directed by McG) furthered the image by dressing up a pasty loser in a Fubu jersey and baggy pants while he danced around his suburban wasteland. It was a pretty sharp piece of satire dressed up as a novelty song, and it ended up being the Offspring's biggest hit (and their most profound impact on popular culture). Ironically, the very kids Holland was mocking seemed to dig the song the most, but that doesn't stop it from remaining bratty and punchy today.

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