"Freak on a Leash" is a song by the American nu metal band Korn, featured on the group's 1998 studio album, Follow the Leader. After Follow the Leader's release, the song was released as a single on May 25, 1999. The song uses dissonance, distortion, various guitar effects, and a heavy, aggressive style.
Following the release of Follow the Leader, Korn promoted the studio album by headlining the Family Values Tour in 1998. "Freak on a Leash" was the first song played on their first tour date. The original composition had a "noisy guitar break in the middle," but, after the group found out that radio stations are not fond of "noisy guitar breaks," they asked their fans if they should take out the break. Roughly four out of five of the fans were in favor of taking the break out. The band described the break as "the Biohazard part."
The song uses dissonance, distortion, and various effects to bring the song "to life." David Lloyd from the University of Alberta said that the song was an example of a "nonsense-utterance" technique used by lead vocalist Jonathan Davis. Lloyd also noted that the song contained "fragments of English-language words," and said that they "can be perceived in the midst of Davis' gibberish". Lloyd later went on to say that "Davis is giving voice to his inner basic feelings which are trying to resist being shaped or conditioned by utterances of others."
A music video for "Freak on a Leash" was released on February 5, 1999, and debuted on Total Request Live. It was directed by Todd McFarlane who was assisted by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The music video contains a mixture of animation and live performance footage. Although it was expected to be released in January 1999, it was pushed back to February 1999. The video starts with an animated segment directed by McFarlane, where the children (including a cameo appearance of Korn as some of the children) playing hopscotch on a cliff the artist drew for the Follow the Leader cover are interrupted by a policeman. An accidentally-fired bullet from the policeman's gun breaks out of the animated world into the real world and wreaks much property damage (while narrowly avoiding hitting many people). The bullet then enters a Korn poster and flies around the members of Korn before going back the way it came, returning to the animated world. Once back in the animated world, the girl in red (also from the album cover) catches the bullet and gives it to the policeman, to which the bullet dissipates; the children leave as the policeman stares at his empty hands bewildered as the camera then focuses on the loose "No Trespassing" sign; which then leads up to the follow-up video for "Falling Away from Me" featured on the band's then next album Issues. The directory work was described as combining "special effects and clever camera moves in the live action portion of the video.