Grimes against nu-metal – can Stormzy make Linkin Park cool?

The veteran band’s brand of rap-rock may be dated, but they’re attempting a refresh with the help of the British star. Shut up!

Name: Linkin Park.

Origin: California, US.

Appearance: Big trousers, little beards.

Occupation: Rock.

I’ve heard of them. Yes, people often have. It’s a side-effect of being one of this century’s biggest-selling bands.

I’m not sure I’ve actually heard them, though. They are best known for playing nu-metal, which is a kind of rap-metal fusion.

A what? Loud, fast, electric guitars with loud, fast, rapping. Think of Limp Bizkit or Rage Against the Machine.

Must I? Well, that was the style of their hit debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000. Although they have explored other styles more recently.

Why do bands have to explore things? Can’t they just do more of what people like? I suppose they get bored and don’t want to become old-fashioned. Linkin Park certainly work hard on that.

How so? Well, they’ve just revealed that a track on One More Light, their forthcoming album, will feature a collaboration with Stormzy.

Stormzy? The young British grime artist, real name Michael Omari, who grew up in Thornton Heath? Who raps about David Moyes? Among other things, yes.

That’s quite a high level of fusion. Well, it makes some sense when you think about it. Both Linkin Park and Stormzy sing aggressively, but with humour, about life being tough. Both Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda (Japanese-American) and Stormzy (Ghanaian-British) have dual heritage. Their music shares a kind of angry sensitivity.

You’re not convincing me. They are both rappers, albeit very different kinds, but that can work. Linkin Park made a record called Collision Course with Jay Z a few years back, remember.

Thirteen years back. Plus Stormzy is 23 and Linkin Park are in their 40s. Kanye has worked with Paul McCartney – that’s a 35-year age gap.

And Stormzy is like, so black-British and now, while Linkin Park are like, so white-American and then. Listen, music knows no barriers, OK? Linkin Park liked Stormzy’s music and approached him to do a verse on the song Good Goodbye. He said yes. As singer Chester Bennington put it: “We like Stormzy and we think that he’s dope.”

Do say: “I heard that So Solid Crew and Taylor Swift were in the studio together.”

Don’t say: “It’s the Insane Clown Posse vs Ed Sheeran album I can’t wait for.”

The GuardianTramp

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