Linkin Park is a band that holds a special place in my heart. I was very young when I first listened to them, and it changed my life forever. Comprised of rapper Mike Shinoda, lead vocalist Chester Bennington, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell (Phoenix), DJ Joe Hahn, and drummer Rob Bourdon, these guys have been a huge part of revolutionizing the music industry. When Bennington tragically passed away in 2017, it really hit me. I sincerely would like to thank him for everything. He was the true definition of an inspiring hero. If I didn’t listen to their songs, I honestly wouldn’t be where I am right now. Shinoda, the rapper and co-founder of the band, made me discover other highly influential artists such as Public Enemy, N.W.A, Rage Against the Machine, and Wu-Tang Clan. He’s not only my favorite rapper of all time, but he also happens to be one of my idols in life. Their debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’ is the reason that I started being a fan of both rock and hip hop music.
This year, they have decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first record and remind everyone of this worldwide phenomenon. It was one of the best-selling albums during the 2000s, and it impacted the lives of so many fans. It most certainly still lives up to its well-deserved legacy.
It was considered an ambitious task to combine elements from rock and hip hop into one album. However, they pulled it off quite brilliantly. Shinoda, who grew up listening to rap, was determined to fuse many styles of different music genres, which is something that he’s still proud of to this day. Back then, he and his band members were just friends hanging out and creating something that they’re very passionate about. Their hard work would eventually pay off.
The thing that most people always recognized about Linkin Park was the inseparable camaraderie between Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. At the time, Bennington was the newest member of the band after passing his audition that showcased his outstanding skills as a vocalist. The album’s lyrics dealt with some personal issues like depression, alcohol abuse, and failed relationships, and they helped so many people connect with them on a personal level. The vocal interplay is one of the highlights from ‘Hybrid Theory’, with Shinoda adding a strong hip hop vibe and Bennington giving lots of emotional depth to their songs. If you listened to their tracks such as ‘Papercut’, ‘Forgotten’, ‘By Myself’ and ‘A Place for My Head’, you can tell they worked really well with one another in terms of songwriting and performance.
If I have to pick my favorite song from ‘Hybrid Theory’, that’s a tough one. But if I have to choose one that changed my life is ‘In The End’, which is the band’s signature anthem. In fact, it was the first-ever song that I heard from Linkin Park. Shinoda’s iconic rap verses and Bennington’s melodic chorus skyrocketed them to mainstream popularity. It will always be a timeless classic.
Linkin Park should be proud of creating one of the best albums of all time. ‘Hybrid Theory’ united both rock and rap fans with their music, which is quite a huge accomplishment. Many fans will remember Bennington as an incredibly gifted singer, and his songs beautifully showcase his legacy. If you have never listened to ‘Hybrid Theory’ before, please do so. I promise you’ll feel many things.