My first piece for The Young Folks, a retrospective of Linkin Park’s seminal Hybrid Theory.
Whereas Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit lauded the act of destroying property and breaking faces, [Linkin Park’s] Chester Bennington channeled his violent energy into pleas for attention and acceptance. “One Step Closer” implores the target of Bennington’s rage to shut up and listen. He sings of self-harm and depression in “Crawling,” a track which earned the group a Grammy, and the haunting specter of a bad relationship in “With You.” Much of the anger and violence on Hybrid Theory is self-targeted, rather than lyrics that could be perceived as advocation of destruction, which stigmatized the genre during its heyday.
Read the full essay here.