During a memorable event in 2018, prior to his departure from the hip-hop scene and exploration of pop punk, the versatile artist Machine Gun Kelly joined forces with the esteemed frontman of Deftones, Chino Moreno.
While this unexpected collaboration might raise eyebrows, the resulting song remarkably harmonizes, especially when viewed as a solo endeavor by Mike Shinoda from his 2018 album "Post Traumatic." For devoted fans of Mike and Linkin Park, this collaboration offers a familiar and comforting musical landscape, devoid of any major surprises.
Moreno's vocals soar with an ethereal quality, reminiscent of recent offerings by Deftones or his side project, Crosses. Alongside Shinoda's introductory rap verse and MGK's subsequent contribution, the song embodies a slightly lighter, more relaxed essence akin to the signature vibes of Linkin Park.
In Shinoda's own words shared with the media, he described the track as "more of a battle rap kind of song, which is just escapism and is actually a pretty fun song." It serves as an opportunity for both artists to explore a different facet of their artistic capabilities.
The album, released in the aftermath of the tragic suicide of Linkin Park's frontman Chester Bennington, provided Shinoda with a platform to process his grief alongside the band's dedicated fanbase. In a deeply moving statement, he expressed his understanding of the challenges faced by fans coping with Chester's loss and the uncertainty surrounding the band's future. Shinoda aimed to convey his shared emotions while also providing a sense of direction, like a guiding light, revealing his own path and aspirations.
Reflecting on the inception of this particular track, Shinoda alluded to his longstanding friendship with Chino, which has spanned many years. The song initially took shape with Shinoda's beats and vocals, later incorporating Machine Gun Kelly's verse. MGK's infectious energy and excitement upon hearing Chino's contribution added an extra layer of enjoyment to the creative process.
It is noteworthy to mention that Linkin Park has openly expressed admiration for Deftones over the years. As far back as 2002, the band paid homage to Deftones by covering their classic track "My Own Summer (Shove It)." Shinoda acknowledges Deftones as a significant influence on Linkin Park's emotionally raw and introspective lyrical style, drawing inspiration from artists like Jonathan Davis of Korn who fearlessly laid bare their innermost struggles in their lyrics.
In this fusion of talent and mutual musical appreciation, Machine Gun Kelly, Mike Shinoda, and Chino Moreno unite to deliver a captivating and resonant experience. Their collaboration bridges the gaps between genres and pays homage to the profound power of artistic expression.