Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park:
Mike Shinoda is one of the co-founders of the rap-metal group Linkin Park. Their 2000 debut album Hybrid Theory has sold over 19 million copies worldwide. Shinoda writes songs, contributes vocals, plays a wide range of instruments, and even creates the artwork for the group's album covers. 2003's Meteora album debuted at #1 on the album chart and has sold 10 million copies.
Fort Minor - the Solo with Friends Project:
Following Collision Course, an acclaimed 2004 mash-up album between Linkin Park and Jay-Z, Mike Shinoda decided to pursue an outside project. He stated that it would give him an opportunity to work with friends and get back to his hip hop roots. The resulting project was named Fort Minor. The word 'fort' indicates aggressive and militant music while 'minor' refers to a darker element.
Quote from Fort Minor's Mike Shinoda:
In reference to Fort Minor from interview with rapmusic.com:
"If I weren't making music, I'd be the kid who writes into the magazines and says, 'why don't you guys ever cover anything that's different? Hip hop is so much of the same thing over and over again.' I love hip hop, so I wanted to make an album from that standpoint, 'cause that's who I am."
The Rising Tied:
Fort Minor's first album The Rising Tied was released in November, 2005. Mike Shinoda played most of the instruments and was involved in every aspect of the album's creation. Guest artists include Common, Lupe Fiasco, John Legend, and Holly Brook. The album sold poorly at first, and the first single "Petrified" disappeared quickly.
Where'd You Go:
In the spring of 2006 Fort Minor released the single "Where'd You Go." It featured wistful vocals from Holly Brook and, accompanied by a riveting music video, began to quickly climb the pop charts and was nearing the pop top 10 by the end of April, 2006.