so, i gotta admit... for the longest time i fucking hated this genre.
every time i heard linkin park i'd laugh at how bad it was, i'd make fun of every limp bizkit lyric i heard, i thought jonathan davis had the worst voice ever, and i thought slipknot was just over-dramatic angsty bullshit.
but now... when you start to really sink your teeth in... and you're miserable as fuck... you realize nothing hits like everything ends or need to.
part of the reason i like nu-metal is because it's vulnerable. these artists - they've been through a lot. with every line you can almost feel the relief of finally getting all the rage out, with every scream you hear what they've always wanted to say but never could.
my favorite examples of this are daddy by korn, and diluted by slipknot.

first - let's start with daddy. this song is about the vocalist jonathan davis' experiences being sexually abused as a young child by a female babysitter. from the first line, when he sings "mother, please forgive me" it already makes you uneasy.
and at the end of the intro when he says "i'm your son" you can hear him start to choke up already. it's obviously a very hard topic for him, and you can hear as the song goes on how he tries to keep it together.
the verses are told from the perspective of the predator - "little child, looking so pretty" starts each verse - while the chorus is sung from his perspective, probably telling his parents, or someone similar.
and while the whole song is much like the standard korn - drums and bass with a superb groove with head and munky's downtuned riffs being a chunky compliment, it feels so wrong to bop along to it due to the subject matter.
in fact, my favorite riff of the whole album is on this song - right after jon says "it's alright."
and yet... every time i hear that part, i ask myself why i'm grooving along to a man recalling his childhood trauma. it's an amazing song that i feel could only be done with all of the influences they had, and the genre's already horror-themed atmospheres.

and then there's diluted. this song is very different - about corey taylor's depression, and feeling like you don't fit in at all, like most nu-metal usually is.
part of what makes this so effective to me is the contrast between the first/second half of each verse, and his delivery of each line.
the first half is usually very misanthropic, tired sounding. like he can't be bothered anymore because everything just seems so pointless at that point, so what's the point of even trying to make out your words?
however, in the second half of the first verse things pick up a bit. he sounds a bit more frantic and worried. this builds up into the chorus - where he screams "what the hell did i do to deserve all of this?" with some of the most pissed off sounding vocals that there are on this album.
(which is saying a lot, because this album is very angry)
and in the second verse, he picks up the second half by pleading again - "god, what the fuck is wrong?" - just trying to find any reason why things could have ended up this way.
the song is very short at just under 3 and a half minutes but it makes its point extremely clear in that amount of time.
the fact corey refuses to play this live is an extra part of what makes this hit so hard to me - he'll usually play pretty much anything, even snuff, which is about his divorce, but this one was too far, even in 1999. it hits hard. that last "fuck" at the end says all that needs to be said.

if you want more, here's a news site founded by holidaykirk, self proclaimed "CEO of nu-metal", and "godson of nu-metal", a title which was given to him by ross robinson. has some great reads on there, i highly recommend you check it out some time.

in no particular order, here are some of my personal favorite nu-metal albums, will update as i listen to more.
email recs if you have any, and if you're in a nu-metal band email me and i'll shout you out at the bottom of the page!
(email can be found on my about me page)

slipknot - s/t limp bizkit - significant other system of a down - toxicity deftones - white pony 100 gecs - 1000 gecs death grips - the powers that b - errorzone
mr. bungle - california limp bizkit - still sucks system of a down - s/t deftones - around the fur slipknot - iowa machine girl - ...because i'm young, arrogant, and hate everything you stand for
korn - s/t mudvayne - ld50 linkin park - hybrid theory slayer - god hates us all

also, here's a version of toxicity on spotify with a blue hue,
the slipknot studio album collection up to all hope is gone,
a censored version of significant other with a darker cover,
steal this album! but with shavo's art,
a darker cover for untouchables,
and a dual release of the self-titled system of a down album and steal this album for whatever reason.
i don't know why any of these exist, i just found them randomly and i thought they were cool so i saved them. maybe you'll find them cool, too, i don't know.