Without a doubt the most reluctant rock star ever to scale the music’s highest peaks, Kurt Cobain sang as if he were trying to rip his heart out of his own chest. Unfortunately, he also lived his life that way.
Nirvana’s frontman was obsessively true to the ideals of underground rock — ideals that informed the way he went about subverting “the biz” and the way he played his music. That gave his songs the sort of trapped-animal tension that elevated them far above the grunge pack that would sniff around in his wake.
It also fueled the angst that eventually consumed him — and made the title of one of his last compositions all too prophetic. Its title? “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.”