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The Staind Guy Called Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland a “Bougie Motherfucker”

The members of Limp Bizkit have been called many names since emerging from the primordial ooze 20 years ago, but I think it’s safe to bet that none of them has been labeled a “bougie motherfucker” until now. Our friends at Stereogum point out that Wes Borland—the band’s guitarist and resident colored contact lens enthusiast—is currently beefin’ it up with Staind frontman Aaron Lewis, of all people, and Lewis levied just that accusation against him from the stage in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Our story begins in an airport terminal. It was there, according to both Borland and Lewis, that the two of them crossed paths for the first time in years—the first time, perhaps, since both bands ruled like feudal lords over the fetid swampland of rock radio in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Here’s how Borland described their interaction in a recent episode of the podcast Talk Toomey:

Aaron Lewis came up to me in an airport randomly. I was visiting my parents in Jacksonville and flying back to LA. And… I just happened to run into him and hadn’t seen him in awhile. He goes, “Where are you headed?” And I went, “I’m going home.” And he goes, “Home?” And I went, “Yeah, I just visited my parents. I’m going back home to LA.” And, for the record, I’ve lived in LA longer than I’ve lived in any other city in my life. And he goes… Aaron looks at me and he kind of turns his chin up and he goes, “Nah, man. Remember where you came from. Florida is your home, not LA. That’s home.” And I just went, “Fuck you, man.” And I never talked to him again after that.

That guy is such a dickhead. So full of himself, such a dickhead. I wish nothing but the worst for him. Amen. I could not believe the audacity and just, like, pretentiousness — especially for somebody that acts like they’re like a country boy now and they’re from Illinois. Anyway, digusting person. No, thanks. Peace… I don’t wanna a shit talker, but I have no problem talking shit about that guy. He’s terrible.

You could see why Lewis’s down-home shtick might get under Borland’s skin, but Borland’s reaction also seems a little extreme. The whole interaction is probably informed on some level by the career path each man has struck since the old nu-metal glory days: Borland, always several shades weirder than his bandmates and contemporaries, now does things like record esoteric instrumental solo albums and express open contempt for Trump supporters and fans of his former band; Lewis has followed the whole sad-but-still-macho vibe of Staind to its logical conclusion and reinvented himself as a country singer.

Onstage in Vegas, Lewis gave his own account of the fateful airport encounter. Surely a second perspective might illuminate how a single underhanded comment managed to end a friendship?

Wes Borland, who I love dearly, who obviously has some fucking things to say about me. Fuck that motherfucker! I know that I started this with “I love him dearly,” because he’s part of the whole reason that I’m standing here right now in front of you. And I find it really fucked up that…

This is what happened, OK? This is how it happened. This is exactly how it happened. And I don’t know how the fuck he came up with what he came up with. But I’m gonna tell you what happened.

I saw this motherfucking bougie motherfucker riding on a fucking golf cart in the airport to his gate. I ended up at a gate really close to him. I went up to him. I said, “Wes, what’s up, brother? I miss you. I haven’t seen you in forever. How have you been? Good?” This, that and the other thing. I’m, like, “Where are you headed?” He’s like, “I’m headed home — to Los Angeles.” And I’m like, “Hey, motherfucker, that ain’t home. Remember, you’re from Jacksonville, fucking Florida.” That’s how it went down.

As Stereogum notes, Lewis’s version of the story is basically exactly the same as Borland’s though it does add one crucial detail: the fact that Borland was sitting on a golf cart. As weirdly aggro as Lewis’s comments about L.A. and Florida were, riding around the terminal on an electric vehicle does turn you into a caricature of a city-slickin’ rich guy sort of automatically. There are really no winners in this beef, except for us, the audience. I only wish there was video we could watch of Borland speeding away in anger at the end of the exchange.

Watch video of Lewis’s onstage rant below.