Kenji

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"Kenji"
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 3:51
Live debut June 29, 2015
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)

Background

In late 2006, Clear Channel Music posted the entire The Rising Tied album complete with commentaries from Mike Shinoda before each song.[1] On "Kenji", he said, "When I was growing up, there were groups like Public Enemy, and Boogie Down Productions that would talk about more uhm, maybe political issues, or social issues... just whatever was affecting them, they thought, in their community and personally, and uhm, I don’t know, I feel like, and maybe that’s not completely missing from today’s hip-hop, but it’s definitely something that I’ve never done before on a record and I wanted to do. Uhm, especially when I thought about the fact that there’s never been a song done about Japanese internment. I’m half Japanese. My family was interned during World War II. What happened is after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US government basically went through a period, of what we would call now racial profiling. And they took all the Japanese Americans, anybody who was of Japanese descent and stuck them in internment camps. You can imagine, you come home from work, and the FBI’s sitting there and they tell you to pack up your stuff and you’re leaving today to go to a camp for the rest of the war, and you don’t know how long it’s gonna be, and it ended up being, you know, one to two years for a lot of people. Even after that there was a lot of racial tension going on and everything was just very difficult for families like mine, so I wanted to make a song about that. A lot of people when they hear that this happened, they can’t even imagine that this happened in the US, but it did. "

Interview Version

"Kenji (Interview Version)" was released by Mike Shinoda for free download exclusively for Fort Minor Militia members in December 2005. The song was produced and mixed by Mike. He wrote: "this song is a fort minor militia preview. it will be available on fortminor.com later, but you're hearing it here first. this version of the song contains interview clips only...all the things that were in the interviews that i couldn't fit into the song, but i thought i should put this out there for you to hear. i think this version really tells the intimate side of my family's internment camp story well. also, don't miss this part of the story: my dad's family was pretty successful before they were forced into the camp; when they got out, they had newspaper for wallpaper and were picking grapes as day-laborers. the internment had hit them pretty hard."

This version was also made available for download through Fort Minor's official website in March 2006.

Versions

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

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Kenji The Rising Tied 3:51 2005 November 22, 2005
  • Features interview clips with Mike Shinoda's dad and aunt.
Kenji The Rising Tied (Non-PA Version) 3:51 2005 November 22, 2005
  • Censored.
  • All digital releases of the clean album comes with an explicit version of the song. The physical release however, comes with the clean version.
Kenji (Interview Version) 2:24 2005 December 2005
  • Full interviews with Mike Shinoda's dad and aunt.
  • No verses by Mike Shinoda.
  • Released for free download to Fort Minor Militia members in December 2005.
  • Released for free download on Fort Minor's official website on March 1, 2006.
Kenji Instrumental Album: The Rising Tied 3:50 2005
  • Official instrumental version.

Live

"Kenji" was not performed at all until 2015 when Fort Minor made its comeback with "Welcome". Mike performed the song as a mashup with "Castle Of Glass" - the instrumental was a remix of the M. Shinoda Remix found on Recharged, and featured the regular lyrics of "Castle Of Glass" until the bridge, where Mike performed all of the parts of "Kenji" over the bridge instrumental (with the speeches included over the speaker).

The studio version of "Kenji" finally made its debut in 2018 when Mike began touring for Post Traumatic. The song was featured mid-set, eventually gaining an extended intro when the tour went to Asia. Matt Harris would play the extended intro on guitar before switching to a bass guitar during the main part of the song, with Mike playing synth chords before the track started. Starting with the second show of the tour in Bangkok, Thailand, Mike began rapping verse one of "Hands Held High" over the intro. Because "Hands Held High" is banned in China due to their censorship laws, Mike experimented with a few verses during the Chinese shows that featured "Kenji" in the set, performing verse one and part of verse two of "It's Goin' Down" and verse three of "Until It Breaks" over the intro.

Variations

Last Updated: September 14, 2016

Type Description First Played Last Played
Alternative Mashup with "Castle Of Glass" June 29, 2015 September 8, 2015

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: August 23, 2018

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Ext. Intro w/ No Verse August 7, 2018 August 7, 2018
Intro Ext. Intro w/ "Hands Held High" Verse 1 August 9, 2018 August 19, 2018
Intro Ext. Intro w/ "It's Goin' Down" Verse 1 & Partial Verse 2 August 12, 2018 August 12, 2018
Intro Ext. Intro w/ "Until It Breaks" Verse 3 August 14, 2018 August 14, 2018

Personnel

Lyrics

External Links

References