2.04.2011

Mike Shinoda

I'm surprised no one's done an homage to this man yet.

Michael Kenji Shinoda, at least professionally speaking, also has a "pattern".  The man loooooooves working with black folks.  No...seriously.

To say I used to have massively unhealthy crush on this man is a gross understatement.  It feels like Hybrid Theory* dropped yesterday, not ten years ago.  Like many listeners, I was seduced by his sensuously chocolate vocals.  Shinoda is a suave and articulate rapper, a multi-instrumentalist composer, and a cryptic yet simplistic lyricist.  Peep some of his most memorable work.

Y'all can imagine how I felt when I saw this ish for the first time.


His father is Japanese, and if you're wondering why I'm even bothering to bring that up, it's because like with Keanu, a lot of people were "unaware" of Mike Shinoda being Asian.  And I'm not just talking about the first time they saw him, but even after they heard his full name.  Seriously.

From his 2006 interview with The Rafu Shimpo:
Your latest album, “The Rising Tied,” has a track called “Kenji,” dealing with WWII internment. Can you tell me a little about that?

Kenji is my middle name. It’s also obviously a very common name, so the reason I named the song that is because it’s my family’s story but it’s also a common story, something that happened at that time. So to everybody who is out here in the West Coast, this is their story. I did my best to capture an accurate story in that song that I thought represented the people’s struggle and my family’s struggle at that time. The song is about how the internment and how a family like ours would be pulled out of their homes by the FBI because of fear and racial profiling.

Was it your grandparents?

It was my grandparents that were taken out of their home. They had 12 kids and they were stuck in the camp for the rest of the war and then, you know, obviously it didn’t end there but that’s kind of where I ended the story.

How was it like growing up Nikkei with that kind of history?

Mixed kids always have a very unique experience with the race subject because we are many times not obvious members of any group. For example, when I was younger, I would hear people make jokes about Asians around me because they wouldn’t know that I was half Asian, so they assumed that I was maybe Hispanic or maybe Middle Eastern and they’d make a joke about Asians and I was the spy. I was the undercover receiver of this joke.

How did you learn about internment?

It’s stuff you’re kind of brought up with. Your family just kind of talks about it. You overhear people saying things about what happened back in camp or they ran into so and so from camp, and you find a little bit about what camp was. And then eventually I saw it in the history books at school and they didn’t devote very much time to it. It’s only half a page, and the other half of the page is like a big picture of Pearl Harbor. It occurred to me that the story they were telling wasn’t the full story and it was being presented in a way that I didn’t think was probably accurate, especially after hearing the accounts from my family.
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*Mm-hm....the little sis and I have been on a slightly nostalgic kick.

12 comments:

  1. You know, I've just been enlightened...in more ways than one.

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  2. Are your creative senses tingling?

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  3. Love Linkin Park and Fort Minor, never thought to look up his name. Major Fail on my part.

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  4. @ GoddessMaverick

    Seriously???? You saw this man, heard that voice, and you ain't even Google him one time?

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  5. @Ankhesen Mie

    Not a one. I'm so ashamed. I started listening so young that it just never occurred to me. I just enjoyed it through "hey its that guy! I love that guy!"

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  6. @ GoddessMaverick

    Not a one. I'm so ashamed. I started listening so young that it just never occurred to me. I just enjoyed it through "hey its that guy! I love that guy!"

    That's because you weren't "massively unhealthy" when it came to him. *sigh* Teenage-hood is deadly.

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  7. The first time I saw Shinoda I knew he was asian the features are there and the last name is a dead giveaway. Yay! a post about him, I have always liked his rapping, he is true to himself, his lyrics, and his songs he never tries to be something that he isn't. He did a song with Lupe fiasco and Kennan called Resurrection it was about Haiti. Keep up the amazing posts!

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  8. I could tell Mike was at least half Asian when I first saw LP in concert.

    By the way I saw Linkin Park at Madison Square Garden last night and it was AWESOME!!!!. XD

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  9. @ Kyo

    I'm speechless with jealousy.

    @ Amanda O.

    "Resurrection" is the second link.

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  10. I've always liked Linkin Park and have a lot of respect for Mike Shinoda. I'm dumb founded that his name wasn't a dead giveaway for people, but then I am crazy.

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  11. I'm dumb founded that his name wasn't a dead giveaway for people

    I actually got into an argument with someone about it when they first came out.

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