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Mike Shinoda

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda: “Nü-Metal Went From The Biggest Thing On The Planet To The Corniest Thing On The Planet To The Coolest Thing Again”


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As a member of one of the most commercially successful nü-metal bands in existence, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park has some qualifications when it comes to speaking about the much maligned genre. Appearing recently on ‘Kerrang! Radio‘ (see below), Shinoda was asked about emergence of emo-rap and how it currently faces a similar form of gatekeeping that nü-metal did when it first emerged.

Shinoda had the following to say about that:

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“Honestly, I’ve lived through I don’t even know how many irritations of, ‘This thing being dead, and that thing being corny…’ And that comes back around. Nü-metal went from the biggest thing on the planet to the corniest thing on the planet to the coolest thing again.

“The point is, this stuff is typical and we have a new generation of artists—not just rappers—but artists in general who are infusing lots of rock and other styles into their music. It’s exciting—I don’t hate on that.

From Iann [Dior] to 24KGoldn, and Kid LAROI and Trippie Redd and even Post Malone! Post is a rockstar. Post is a singer, guitar player, and people think of him as a rapper because he presents himself that way sometimes, but music is just music, man. I’m not stuck on any of that genre garbage.”

He continued

“It’s part of the mission statement of Linkin Park. We were called the Hybrid Theory before the album, and we played a role in it—none of us tried to claim that we broke the boundaries between genres, but we played a role in breaking boundaries between genres. And it’s funny because some of the new generation don’t even know the way things were before bands like us, and then how albums like ‘Hybrid Theory‘ and so on changed the way people looked at music.

They were born after that, and they were born into the things that they are, mixed genres. Like ‘Hey, what’s your favorite type of music?’ ‘Oh, whatever.’ When I was a kid, if somebody said, ‘What’s your favorite type of music?’, you had an answer. It was this type. It was rap, it was metal, it was a specific kind of metal, and that was it.

‘Do you listen to these things too?’ ‘No, fuck those things.’ It’d be that serious. And now people don’t even think about it. I heard Led Zeppelin because Beastie Boys sampled them.

My first concert was Public Enemy with Anthrax and Primus. Those guys were paving the way for what was teaching me about blending genres. Rage had just come out! It was crazy.”

Linkin Park‘s debut album 2000 album “Hybrid Theory” currently stands at 12x multi-platinum in the United States alone, dwarfing the career highs experienced by nü-metal pioneers Limp Bizkit (“Significant Other” hit 7x multi-platinum) and Korn (“Follow The Leader” hit 5x multi-platinum). Should you want to delve further into the commercial success of Linkin Park‘s career, you can take a look at the numerous sales awards they’ve received from the RIAA here.

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