Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known by his simple stage name of Beck.
Beck's music—with its pop-junk culture collage of musical styles, oblique, ironic lyrics, and post-modern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and heady sound effects—was hailed by critics and the public as among the most idiosyncratic of 1990s alternative rock: critic Steve Huey describes him as "One of the most inventive and eclectic figures to emerge from the '90s alternative revolution." Although Beck's work defies easy categorization, his eclecticism and genre experiments sparked comparisons with Prince, though Beck was undoubtedly a less prolific artist and drew on an absurdist, free-flowing lyrical style that was totally original when first exposed to mainstream audiences. Indeed, some critics labeled him and his breakthrough single "Loser" as novelties.
Despite this individualism, Beck's music is very much a product of the 1990s and the media age in general, with hip hop, indie/underground rock, electronic music and genre-benders like the Beastie Boys as notable touchstones; in addition, some critics liken his head-spinning lyrical aesthetic to a post-modern Bob Dylan sensibility.