I’m not going to lie, I had a very hard time coming up with a beginning to this post. So, I took to Twitter and asked fans what Linkin Park represents to them.
@AmityvilleMyers: Childhood struggle through Middle School and High School.
@connorfletcher: Validating the emotions I had as a teenager in a time where men weren’t supposed to ‘show emotion.’
@Mr_Scottch_: One of the first bands that got me into the rock genre. Metal head ever since.
@THEJimmy_Hex: Fighting to be heard. Also screaming ‘I’m about to break’ at the top of my lungs made me feel a lot better when I was a sad & angry 13 y/o
@imTheChozen1: A few different phases of my life. Being into LP early when I didn’t really understand depression, when I was young/playing halo with my bro to when I got a bit older and started going through hardships of my own. Their music started to become more personal and meaningful.
Up until this point I had only heard Linkin Park’s radio singles. Like I said before, I wasn’t the music guru. So what did I do today? I listened. Starting from 2000, I played all of their catchy songs with the easy-to-remember choruses. After that I played all the album songs, that never garnered any radio attention, but weren’t composed with any less talent or thought. Once I started to get my bearings on what Linkin Park was, I really listened to the lyrics. The words Chester was belting at the top of his lungs, or the verses Mike Shinoda was rhythmically delivering.
Linkin Park seems to be the beginning to a lot of things. They were a beginning to a new genre of this cool rap-rock style, and an inspiration for other musicians who wanted to create something meaningful to others. They were a voice for thousands of kids who couldn’t speak up because they were afraid, and an anthem to those who never felt like they quite fit the mold. Whether it was middle school, high school, or dropping out of school, there are immense struggles for any teenager trying to find the transition into being a young adult. Those obstacles, those mental roadblocks, don’t just stop at some magic age either. Linkin Park was able to offer some comfort and solace to anyone facing adversity, regardless of a few years age difference, and was a lyrical stronghold for their fans, to stay steadfast in the face of any problem.
So it’s saddening (which isn’t even the right word because I literally have a rock in my stomach digging up these emotions) when you hear someone who has been such an advocate for letting your feelings out take their life because maybe they weren’t able to.
We idolize and idealize these artists and lyricists as if maybe they’re just extraordinary storytellers. But we really don’t take the time to realize that these lyrics come from something incredibly deep within that only someone can feel by experience. We allow these musicians to put into words what we cannot and we thank them for it but sometimes I wonder if anyone asks them if they’re okay. The worst part is it takes someone, like Chester, ending their life to open our eyes to see that we should ask sometimes.
Mental health is so overlooked as we’re so quick to pretend that everything is okay – with ourselves, our friends, family. Depression is not a laughing matter—it doesn’t discriminate. People, whether they’re children, athletes or musicians, fight, every single day. Sometimes they can’t get out of bed or eat, other days they appear perfectly normal. But it’s real and it should never be dismissed. If you, or someone you know, ever have thoughts of suicide, please know that you’re not alone. Reach out. Talk to a family member, talk to your friend, talk to someone, there’s a hotline that you can call that is 24/7. There is ALWAYS someone who wants to help. You are not alone, don’t suffer alone.
Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line – Text 741741