Mike Shinoda: Grunge Didn’t Speak To Me Like Hip-Hop Did

Mike Shinoda wasn’t into grunge when he was a young musician.

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, the musician talked about ten songs that changed his life. One of them was Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 song, ‘Killing in the Name.’ Shinoda said:

“I didn’t like much rock at the time. Grunge didn’t speak to me like hip-hop did. But ‘Killing in the Name’ changed my mind.”

Rage Against The Machine’s Importance To Shinoda

Mike detailed why he loved that song and the band so much:

“The things Tom Morello was doing with his guitar were amazing — taking influences from funk and hip hop and making them super-heavy — and Zack [de la Rocha] was a phenomenon. I couldn’t even process what was happening with that group, it was just so good.”

The Rocker Has Other Influences, Too

Another song Shinoda chose in his list was ‘So What’cha Want’ from the Beastie Boys. The song impacted the singer again with its hip-hop elements. He noted:

“Beastie Boys’ ‘Check Your Head’ was so shocking when it came out because they brought their punk rock roots into hip hop in a way that was so unexpected and irreverent and exciting. I’d loved ‘Licensed To Ill,’ but then kinda drifted away when they put out ‘Paul’s Boutique’ because there was so much other cool stuff going on in hip-hop at the time, but ‘So What’cha Want’ pulled me right back in.”

Public Enemy and Dr. Dre are among the other musicians who influenced Shinoda while he was young. He also revealed earlier that he grew up listening to Jay-Z.