It’s been a decade and a half since “Hybrid Theory”, the ground-breaking Nu-Metal classic album by Linkin Park. Explosive tracks like “Crawling”, “One Step Closer”, and “Papercut” had Linkin Park co-headlining tours with heavy acts like Korn and Mudvayne. Times change and Linkin Park is set to tour in support of their most controversial album yet, One More Light. Veering from their hard rock/electronica sound, the band has made a huge left turn and recorded what turns out to be essentially a pop rock album not unlike something The Chainsmokers or Madonna would release. Listen to a song like “Nobody Can Save Me” and you’d be hard pressed to recognize it was a Linkin Park song. Exit producer Rick Rubin and open the door for the likes of Blackbear, Julia Michaels, and Justin Parker. Who are these guys? Let’s take a look:
BLACKBEAR – Matthew Musto aka Blackbear began as an independent hip hop artist out of Palm Coast, FL. He got his first big exposure co-writing Justin Bieber’s hit “Girlfriend” with Mike Posner. After a series of EP’s, Blackbear looks to achieve his greatest success this summer with his can’t miss hit, “Do Re Mi” which feels like the opposite of The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” but maintains the same irresistible pop hook.
“DO RE MI” – Blackbear
JULIA MICHAELS – The 23 year old California pop artist has written songs for Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony. She penned the song “Issues” and many high profile acts wanted to record it, but Julia felt it was the perfect song to her debut single. “Issues” went to #12 earlier this year on the Billboard Singles Chart.
“ISSUES” – Julia Michaels
JUSTIN PARKER – If you’re looking for the polar opposite of the days of Rick Rubin and albums like “Meteora”, you’ll find Justin Parker. He got his break working with the ethereal sounds of Lana Del Rey and her hit “Video Games”. He’s written and produced tracks for indie act Bat For Lashes, Ellie Goulding, and set a Billboard record with his hit “Stay” recorded by Rihanna.
“STAY” – Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
Linkin Park will be headlining a summer tour with Machine Gun Kelly opening. The tour will also see the Wu Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, and Blink-182 appearing on selected dates. No word on how much of the Linkin Park set list will be devoted to the new material. Fans haven’t taken kindly to the new direction of the band and the words “Sell out” have been spoken by critics and fans across the board. Lead singer Chester Bennington has taken them to task for not accepting the dramatic change in their sound. He announced “Hybrid Theory was great but it’s time to move the F^CK on!”