Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!
Fort Minor is a Hip-Hop-based collaborative Solo Side Project band-thingy formed in Los Angeles by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. While Shinoda is the only member and plays almost all of the instruments on the record, Shinoda himself is not Fort Minor. Instead it's the name of his musical project, which is like calling him "Linkin Park". Thus, for the ease of this article, Fort Minor will be referred to as a band so "they" will be used.
Fort Minor was formed in 2004 by Mike Shinoda shortly after Linkin Park's Collision Course collaboration with Jay-Z (who executive-produced Fort Minor's album). Shinoda used the name "Fort Minor" to refer to his collaborations with Ryu and Tak of Machine Shop alumni Styles of Beyond. They quickly began working on their first album The Rising Tied. Their first single was a double A-side containing "Petrified" and "Remember the Name". While the former was mostly ignored, the latter quickly became a sports-anthem and has been featured numerous times throughout the media. The Rising Tied was released shortly after to positive reviews and moderate success.
In 2006, they released "Where'd You Go?" featuring then-labelmate Holly Brook (later known as Skylar Grey) and indie rock musician Jonah Matranga. This provided them their only radio hit, reaching the Top 5 of the Hot 100. Afterwards, Fort Minor went on an indefinite hiatus due to Shinoda's commitments with Linkin Park. In 2015, Fort Minor returned with their first single in nearly a decade, "Welcome"... and promptly went back into hiatus.
In 2018, one year after the death of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda finally released a second solo album, titled Post Traumatic. While very much a successor to Fort Minor's sound, Shinoda deliberately credited the album under his own name, not Fort Minor.
- Fort Minor: We Major (2005)
- The Rising Tied (2005)
Tropes applying to Fort Minor:
- Alternative Hip Hop / Conscious Hip Hop: The focus of the project.
- Boastful Rap: "Remember the Name" has Shinoda, Tak, and Ryu provided rap verses in a very self-satisfied manner.
- The Cameo: The video of "Remember the Name" features cameos from all the other members of Linkin Park (sans Mr. Hahn), Holly Brook, and Rob & Big (who would later star in the reality show of the same name).
- Mr. Hahn provided the turntables for The Rising Tied's final song, "Slip Out the Back".
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: The chorus of "Where'd You Go?" seems to correspond to the rest of the lyrics: the song's protagonist is complaining about his love interest always being gone. At the end of the song, it's revealed that he, tired of their long-distance relationship, has now left her, so it's entirely possible the chorus is from her point of view (especially considering the chorus is sung by Skylar Grey, not Mike Shinoda).
- Executive Meddling: Shinoda discussed this on "Get Me Gone," where he talks about how Warner Bros. Records originally wanted his other band to drop the Rap Rock style and "just be a rock band," and when they refused, the label lied and said they were a fabricated group.
- The Four Chords of Pop: "Where'd You Go."
- Genre Shift: Compared to Shinoda's electronica-tinged Nu Metal rapping on Linkin Park, Fort Minor is much more infused in the world of Hip-Hop culture.
- I Am the Band: Mike Shinoda. He's the only official member, produced, and played all the instruments on the project.
- N-Word Privileges: Subverted with "Kenji." The word "jap" appears in the lyrics not to encourage Japanese people to "take back" the word in the same way African-Americans did with the word "nigger," but rather to illustrate the irrational hatred Shinoda's grandfather faced in post-Pearl Harbor America which got him sent to an internment camp. In the liner notes, Shinoda stressed that he does not want the word "jap" to ever be seen as cool.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: "Believe Me" features Shinoda singing, something he hadn't done before in Linkin Park and didn't do so again until Minutes to Midnight.
- Special Guest: Numerous artist are featured in his songs:
- Styles of Beyond in "Remember the Name", "Believe Me", "Right Now", "Back Home", and "Red to Black".
- Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill in "Believe Me".
- Holly Brook in "Where'd You Go?".
- Jonah Matranga in "Where'd You Go?" and "Red to Black".
- Kenna in "Red to Black".
- Black Thought of The Roots in "Right Now".
- Common in "Back Home".
- John Legend in "High Road".
- Celph Titled in "The Battle".
- Joe "Mr." Hahn in "Slip Out the Back".
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Where'd You Go?" is far gentler than the rest of their louder, underground Rap Rock material. It's also their only hit.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: "Where'd You Go" is about this.