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Business of HYPE: Mike Shinoda

The Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders and entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. On this week’s episode, Jeff sits down with none other than Mike Shinoda, better known as the frontman of rap-rock legends Linkin Park and Fort Minor.

Mike Shinoda’s career is one of many highlights. Linkin Park’s massive success at the turn of the century earned Shinoda a place on the pop pantheon: the group’s debut, Hybrid Theory, is one of the last albums to go Diamond; their genre-bending Collision Course project with JAY-Z earned the group Grammys, critical acclaim, and street cred with rap listeners.

Last year, the music world was rocked by the sudden death of Chester Bennington. No one has reckoned with this loss more personally and intimately than Shinoda, who unpacks the trauma on his latest solo album, Post Traumatic. In this interview, Shinoda explains how Chester’s work ethic informed his newest project and deep-dives into some of the group’s touchstone moments. Shinoda warmly recalls the days leading up to Collision Course, when he whipped up a couple of demo tracks on the band’s tour bus before sending them over to JAY’s management. That project’s reliance on the mash-up seemed second nature to a musician like Mike, who honed his craft making mash-ups of Rage Against the Machine or Nine Inch Nails and putting a rapper’s verse over it. Hov’s response? A single text: “OH SHIT!”

Shinoda also opens up about his roots as a graphic design student at the Art Center. Shinoda explains that while LP (then known as Hybrid Theory) was still getting off the ground, Shinoda was handling art direction and design for acts like Styles of Beyond, who would later play a key role in Shinoda’s hip-hop side project, Fort Minor.

You can find out more about Shinoda’s work in the episode above. Be sure to like and subscribe to HYPEBEAST Radio and Business of HYPE on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Overcast and wherever else podcasts are found. Make sure to leave a review, too.

This episode contains references to the following:
1:00: Mike Shinoda
1:22 Aretha Frankilin
1:29 Nirvana
1:31: Tupac Shakur
1:35: Prince
1:38: Britney Spears
1:42: Linkin Park
1:50: Beyoncé
2:24: Chester Bennington
2:31: Post Traumatic Album
2:53: Parsons
2:54: Art Center
5:10: RISD
5:30: Cal Arts
7:19: System of a Down 
7:20: Deftones
7:21: Cypress Hill
10:30: Nine Inch Nails
10:44: Jimi Hendrix
10:45 Led Zeppelin
10:48: Rick Rubin
10:50: Public Enemy
10:51: Beastie Boys 
10:52: Run DMC
10:53: Rawkus
11:20: The Pharcyde
12:04: Nas
12:05 Mobb Deep
12:07: Notorious B.I.G.
12:58: Mark Ryden
13:04 Juxtapoz Magazine
13:05: La Luz De Jesus Gallery
13:12: Giant Robot
14:10: Bobby “Hundreds” Kim
19:40: Children’s Day (Japan)
19:43: Obon Festival
24:42: Papa Roach
28:42: Pimp My Ride
35:53: JAY-Z x Linkin Park “Collision Course” EP
37:40: Sir Paul McCartney
40:00: Fort Minor
57:50: A Thousand Suns