Now before y'all start going 'Linkin Park brought a feature on to their new track!' or 'it's going to sound exactly like A Light That Never Comes with Steve Aoki' and have never even heard of Rakim, to just toss that thought aside. Never heard of Rakim? You mean you've never heard of the legendary New York rapper whom many up and coming, underground lyricists have known for a long time? Yeah, I hear you. Still, let's be honest. I won't deny the fact that the previous single with Steve Aoki was anything of quality that was on par with Living Things (which was a great album), but this track will surprise you in ways you would never expect to happen.
First off, a few things aren't really on this track. Where is Mike Shinoda? He isn't even rapping on the track (considering the only one doing so is Rakim). And of course, considering their previous album, Mike has probably gone behind the scenes to do the usual production with the bombastic synthesizers which are heard absolutely monstrous on this track. They come out roaring almost like a kraken just a minute into the song, and the chorus feels almost in the heydays of Meteora and Hybrid Theory, which most 'hardcore' fans will definitely enjoy.
Another thing that was great was the instrumentals. It felt everyone had a role to play in the song: Rob's drums were crashing, they were so huge that it was so surreal; Brad and Dave, the guitarists also played a huge part in the electronic aspect of the track but the only one I felt didn't deliver as much was Joe Hahn. Maybe he had a lot to do with the mixing and switching roles with Mike into a more dynamic role, but he felt missed.
There was one small problem: Chester Bennington. When he sang the first verse, he felt sick and stiff. It was as if he was drained of his energy, but he did do as much as he could on the chorus which was absolutely kick-ass. But his effervescent energy provided a lot for the track, because Rakim just felt left out. What was growing into a song that would explode (considering the track is 5 minutes long, almost 6), you would expect Rakim to roar, but I felt he under-delivered heavily. Still, I haven't heard Rakim in a long time as well, so it was good to hear both Linkin Park and the legendary rapper rocking out so heavily on a track again.
I thought I'll just go with the more stylized version and simpler one for the track reviews as well. All in all, it's a great track, but does lack a little effect vocally. Still, I'm hyped for Linkin Park's next venture, considering I was sold on Living Things (I'd rank it up there with Meteora, which is my number 1), but I hope they don't go electronic again considering A Thousand Suns when compared to it's successor, was just dismal. To sum it up effectively: while flawed, Linkin Park got back to their roots and that's all it matters. It's going on my playlist for sure.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.