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Album-The Rising Tied.jpg
Song by Fort Minor from the album The Rising Tied
Recorded 2005
Released November 22, 2005
Format Digital, CD, Vinyl
Length 3:40
Live debut February 24, 2006
Last played September 8, 2015
Writer Mike Shinoda
Producer Mike Shinoda
Label Machine Shop Recordings, Warner Bros. Records

The Rising Tied track listing
  1. Introduction
  2. Remember The Name (Feat. Styles Of Beyond)
  3. Right Now (Feat. Black Thought and Styles Of Beyond)
  4. Petrified
  5. Feel Like Home (Feat. Styles Of Beyond)
  6. Where'd You Go (Feat. Holly Brook and Jonah Matranga)
  7. In Stereo
  8. Back Home (Feat. Common and Styles Of Beyond)
  9. Cigarettes
  10. Believe Me (Feat. Styles Of Beyond and Eric Bobo)
  11. Get Me Gone
  12. High Road (Feat. John Legend)
  13. Kenji
  14. Red To Black (Feat. Jonah Matranga, Kenna and Styles Of Beyond)
  15. The Battle (Feat. Celph Titled)
  16. Slip Out The Back (Feat. Mr. Hahn)

"Cigarettes" is the ninth track on The Rising Tied by Fort Minor. The song is described as a long metaphor for the way Hip Hop music and culture is mass marketed. It is Jay-Z's (the executive producer) favorite song on the album.[1]


In late 2006, Clear Channel Music posted the entire The Rising Tied album complete with commentaries from Mike Shinoda before each song.[2] On "Cigarettes", he said, "This next song, ‘Cigarettes’, uhm, was one of the first demos, that I did for Fort Minor. I remember I was in the bus on a Linkin Park tour, and I was throwing together a beat, you know, just for fun. I didn’t have any intention of making a record, and, uhm, this song ‘Cigarettes’ kinda came together. I remember playing it for friends and this… you know, this was one of the songs, that everyone said: “You know, maybe you should put out a whole album?”. Eventually, you know, one thing led to another and I’m making a whole Fort Minor record and I, uh, I played this for Jay-Z, and he said it was just one of his favorite songs on the record. Probably his favorite lyrics on the record. And I asked him: “Do you think it’s weird, that me, you know, people see me as a person coming from Linkin Park, which is a rock band, is it weird to have a song like this, which is obviously a kind of commentary on where the hip-hop is at right now?” Being, that we kind of know each other a little bit, he knows, uhm, I was raised on hip-hop, and that’s just the backbone of my musical, you know, background, or experience and he said, you know: “If you love hip-hop the way that I know you do, then you’re allowed to be critical of it – if it freaks people out, then let it be... let it do that to people.” I don’t dislike the gangster thing, I just felt like I could do the record without it."

"Cigarettes" was the last song recorded for the album.[3]

The song was started from writing the verses first.[4]

On the Making of The Rising Tied DVD when he was helping Mike and Brad pick songs for the album, Jay-Z said it was his favorite song and specifically he loved the lyrics, "cigarettes say they're safe / rappers claim they really bang." Mike explained that he added live strings and a live choir on the song.

When asked how his creative process was different for Linkin Park versus Fort Minor, Mike said, "There are things that you can do in certain types of music that you can't do in others. I have a song on the record called "Cigarettes" that talks about the similarity between the tobacco industry and the rap music industry. You get sold a product full of lies, but you don't really care, because it's more about playing a role, maybe a little escapism. I could never write a song like that on a Linkin Park record, but an album like this is the ideal home for it."[5]


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Cigarettes The Rising Tied 3:40 2005 November 22, 2005
  • Features vocals by John Legend.
Cigarettes The Rising Tied (Non-PA Version) 3:40 2005 November 22, 2005
  • Different vocal take.
  • Different lyrics.
Cigarettes Instrumental Album: The Rising Tied 3:42 2005
  • Official instrumental version.


"Cigarettes" was first played live during Fort Minor's Asian Tour in 2006, though it was only the first verse of the song rapped a cappella by Mike. It wasn't until Mike brought Fort Minor back from hiatus in 2015 that "Cigarettes" was played in full, albeit in a remixed fashion. The remix featured a slightly new beat and an entirely different ending, with Mike yelling through a vocoder.

The first appearance of "Cigarettes" in Mike's solo show was as an acapella, with him rapping the first verse and chorus before "Remember The Name" in Moscow. He performed the 2015 remix at the very next show in Stockholm during the soundcheck as a request, and officially added it into the set in Wien. The song was then rotated in and out of the set, but was one of the rarest songs Mike would play on tour.

In June 2020 when a fan asked Mike to release this live version of the song, Mike said, "Thanks. I try to make it something special. I just feel like some things are special for those occasions, I feel like it's nice to keep some things..." before his answer cut off.[6]


Fort Minor

Last Updated: May 3, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Alternative Verse 1 Acapella February 24, 2006 April 22, 2006
Alternative 2015 Remix June 29, 2015 September 8, 2015

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: May 3, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Alternative Verse 1 and Chorus Acapella September 1, 2018 September 1, 2018
Alternative 2015 Remix September 3, 2018 March 21, 2019



External Links