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LINKIN PARK's Mike Shinoda Said Hair Metal Felt "Too White;" Nü-Metal Felt Diverse

"That didn’t resonate with me. And it wasn’t just about race. I don’t mean the color of skin. I just mean the culture of it."

mike shinoda

Linkin Park vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda has spent plenty of time reflecting on Linkin Park's 2000 album Hybrid Theory this year. Part of that reflection came in an interview with Metal Hammer, where Shinoda said one of the reasons he really dug the nü-metal scene was because rock bands prior felt "too white" culturally.

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"At the time, if you asked somebody what they were listening to they’d say… ‘Rock. I listen to hip hop. I listen to jazz.’ It wasn’t until five years later they’d say, ‘Everything’. Hybrid Theory did some of that work. It was part of the progression towards breaking down boundaries between styles of music.

"I listened to 90% rap music, then I’d look at a lot of rock bands and I’d be like, ‘There’s something too white’ [about it]. That was one of the things that turned me off, especially hair metal. Hair metal felt like very white music and I was growing up in a very diverse city so I didn’t gravitate to it. That didn’t resonate with me. And it wasn’t just about race. I don’t mean the color of skin. I just mean the culture of it. When nü-metal started at the very beginning, it was a very diverse place.’

"There was a moment when that term, nü-metal and what it meant, was actually pretty cool. It’s almost impossible to imagine! I remember when Korn first came out and when Deftones’ first couple of albums came out, and whatever you think about a group like Limp Bizkit, their first album was really raw. There were all these groups like Snot and (hed)p.e., and it wasn’t smart music, but there was something really visceral and culture blending that was important."

Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy saw the comment and chose to respond thusly:

Linkin Park released the 20th anniversary edition of Hybrid Theory on October 9. The anniversary edition features some live tracks, demos, and b-sides depending on which version you get. You can hear an early version of the band's massive hit "In The End" here and you can order the box set here.

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