Keith Flint died a few days ago. The same crazy-looking punk that scared the parents of the 1990s kids. He was 49 years old when he unexpectedly committed suicide. Our childhood was filled with The Prodigy’s crazy, bombastic songs whether we liked them or not. Yesterday, after hearing the bad news, a little piece of me died, and left this unpleasant and creepy feeling, some kind of emptiness.
In his prime years, Keith Flint used to feverishly dance on stage and looked like a unicorn cookie. And the song Firestarter probably changed not only the world of music, but also the lives of many Prodigy fans.
A year later their album “The Fat of the Land” became one of the best selling albums of 1997 and blew up the world charts. The people were not ready for their provocative, bordering on repulsive, music videos. Well, at first they weren’t ready. After a few weeks pretty much everyone jumped on the crazy wagon! I remember my mom’s shocked face when she saw me watching the Firestarter on TV. BIG OOF! But thanks to all that controversy the Prodigy became the icons we know and love.
Punk dresses, Iroquois, piercing, tattoos – Flint did not look like an ordinary representative of the UK electronic scene. He fascinated and inspired us not to be ashamed of yourself, to accept our nature, to be, and not to give up. Flint almost instantly turned into an icon of style, freedom and rebellion, and the cult of fans began to form around him.
In the early 2000s, Keith Flint got a side project running called simply “Flint”, which has a meatier, more metal sound than the Prodigy. While he was trying to get that gig up, his pal Liam Howlett records a new Prodigy album (Always Outnumbered, Never outgunned), only this time without Flint. I remember this very clearly, as back then I loved what Keith did with “Flint” but hearing the new album without him was like getting slapped in the face. It would be like taking away Matt Bellamy from Muse.
After the 2009’s album “Invaders Must Die“, Keith Flint, along with the band itself, start turning into a lifeless husk, a shadow of their former selves. Sure, people still love them, but their new material pales in comparison to the good old hits.
From 2009 to 2018 the band gives over 340 concerts but, ultimately, that doesn’t change things for the better in Keith’s case. We may never understand what Keith was going through in his last weeks, days, hours, and minutes, but seeing the massive feedback from thousands of people on every imaginable social media site about how the Prodigy and Flint changed their lives is truly heart-warming and is a sign that he will be remembered. In the end, that’s the best you can hope for.