Like most suburban kids that grew up in the 2000s, Mike Shinoda played a pretty seminal role in my adolescence.
Just around the time I was starting to truly appreciate hip-hop, Linkin Park released their remix album Reanimation, which placed their debut album Hybrid Theory within a hip-hop context and introduced me to emcees like Pharoahe Monch, Black Thought and Planet Asia years before I fully realized their importance.
Three years after teaching us the endless possibilities of a remix, Mike Shinoda started his side project, Fort Minor, I’m assuming as an outlet for his clear hip-hop tendencies in the face of Linkin Park’s settling sound and booming popularity.
While not necessarily an all-time favorite of mine, his debut album as Fort Minor, The Rising Tied, was still an important contribution to hip-hop, introducing tons of kids to emcees they might have never otherwise heard. Names like Common, Celph Titled and Styles of Beyond graced the track listing, and it was clear Shinoda had a passion for the culture.
The Rising Tied performed well commercially as well, having sold over 500,000 copies, and the album's hit single “Remember The Name” was certified Platinum in 2009.
Recently, streaming behemoth Pandora released some data regarding the most popular workout stations on their service (which DJBooth received directly from a Pandora rep), and on one of their top stations—Rap Strength Training—“Remember The Name” is the top streamed song, a staggering 12 years after its release.
So far this week, the song has racked up 61k plays, which brings its grand total to an astounding 477 million streams.
After going back and listening to the song, it's easy to understand why. The record has an undeniable "Lose Yourself" feel to it, with a steady, string-driven pulse of an instrumental and the unforgettable hook:
This is ten percent luck
Twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure
Fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name
Obviously, Shinoda, Tak and Ryu weren’t rapping about cranking out those last few reps of hammer curls—the song is basically about how much they love rapping, how good they are at it and how dedicated they are to being the best. Pretty standard stuff.
But, it’s easy to hear how that hook over that beat could give you just the right amount of vague motivation to tear that last little bit of muscular tissue before negating every last bit of it with a post-workout meal at Chik-Fil-A.
The crazy thing is, though, it’s not just Pandora-using gym fanatics who are supplying this decade-old Fort Minor track with a steady stream of, well, streams. “Remember The Name” also has 126 million plays on Spotify to date, which is pretty impressive considering Spotify wasn’t even a thing until three years after the song came out.
Of course, this isn’t a totally uncommon occurrence. You don’t have to look too hard to find songs from decades past that are still inexplicably popular, but this does lend a context of timelessness to an adolescent favorite of so many of my contemporaries.
And, considering what Shinoda gave so many of us during our formative years, it’s cool to see he’s still getting recognition for it.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Tumblr