Nobody's Listening

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"Nobody's Listening"
Song by Linkin Park from the album Meteora
Working title Nocturnal
Recorded 2002
Length 02:58
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 100
Key D Minor
Samples Linkin Park - High Voltage
References Jay-Z - Brooklyn's Finest
Live debut April 9, 2003
Last played March 15, 2004
Writer Linkin Park
Producer Don Gilmore, Linkin Park
Label Warner Bros.

Meteora track listing
  1. Foreword
  2. Don't Stay
  3. Somewhere I Belong
  4. Lying From You
  5. Hit The Floor
  6. Easier To Run
  7. Faint
  8. Figure.09
  9. Breaking The Habit
  10. From The Inside
  11. Nobody's Listening
  12. Session
  13. Numb

"Nobody's Listening" is the eleventh song on Linkin Park's sophomore album Meteora. It is known mainly for its center around hip-hop vibes and its Japanese flute loop.


"Nobody's Listening" was originally titled "Nocturnal"[1] and was first mentioned in the March 2003 issue of Spin magazine in a piece about the recording of Meteora. It reads:

"Korn and Papa Roach's albums may have under-performed in 2002, but Linkin Park look set to survive last year's new-rock revolt with their angsty flow intact. They're the rap-metal band it's okay to still love, probably because they never made the combination seem like an arranged marriage. "We're a melting pot, not a salad bowl," singer Mike Shinoda says. "We just kind of did our own thing. And that's exactly what we're doing with this new record." The as-yet-untitled follow-up to the multiplatinum Hybrid Theory is due in early spring. Shinoda says new tracks like the tentatively titled "Breaking The Habit," "Shifter," and "Nocturnal" are pretty eclectic. "We listen to a lot of different types of music, so when we were in the studio, we'd think, 'That part should have a DJ Premier-type beat, but I really want to put this 80s-sounding keyboard hook in there.'" If they clear that Yaz sample, can we coin the phrase "nü-wave metal"? Can we? Please?"[2]

In March 2003, Mike Shinoda did a track-by-track of Meteora for ShoutWeb. About "Nobody's Listening", he said, ""Nobody's Listening" is a more hip-hop style track. Beats and samples are the backbone of the song and of course, as always, we make our own stuff. When I use the word "sample", I don't mean that we're lifting it off somebody else's thing. We always create our own thing and loop that because to me it just feels more genuine. I can have more pride in a part that I wrote than a part that I lifted off of somebody else's thing. We made this interesting thing off of a Japanese flute with different Japanese flute sounds. It was actually keyboard and some other breathy sounds that we used, some piano and some drum stuff but it was most keyboard. It's like a real deal hip-hop track. The challenge in making that fit with the album was in the sonics and the vocals. At a certain point, we realized the song is like an island. It's detached from the mainland, the rest of the album. We realized that our bridge would be a little bit of guitar played a little differently. Brad does this muted guitar part in the chorus. Chester and I kind of play off each other's vocals. When we finished the vocals, we figured that it probably worked."

On the Meteora booklet, the band wrote, "One of the band's many goals in writing Meteora was to take their sampled sounds to the next level. However, in creating more interesting samples, a new challenge arose: To make the wide variety of sample-based elements feel like they belonged together. At first, this song's Japanese flute loop created a mood that was far different from any other song on which the band was working, and made the track feel too distant from the rest of the album. Mike and Chester decided that the singing vocals would have to somehow connect the song to the rest of the recordings. The following day, Chester's performance gave this seemingly incongruent song balance, transforming it into an essential track on the album."

In a May 18th, 2020 stream, a fan asked Mike to use a Japanese instrument in a song. Mike replied, "We did. I used a couple of things, I used a shakuhachi on Nobody's Listening. I think I used a koto on something else but it might have been a sample that didn't sound like koto."[3]

In an interview with AllHipHop on November 10, 2004, Mike admitted to have quoted Jay-Z on the song: "I have been a fan of Jay’s work from day one. one of my favorite songs is "Brooklyn's Finest"–I even quoted it on our song "Nobody’s Listening" from Meteora." At the beginning of the song, Mike raps, "Yo, peep the style and the kids checking for it. The number one question is "how could you ignore it?"" which is derived from Jay-Z & The Notorious B.I.G. on "Brooklyn's Finest" which says, "A-yo, peep the style and the way the cops sweat us (Uh-huh). The number one question is can the Feds get us? (Uh-huh)"

"Nobody's Listening" also samples a song by Linkin Park, Mike's remix of "High Voltage" when the intro and outro scratch the vocal line "Coming at you from every side" by Mike Shinoda. The line is not present in the original version of "High Voltage" from the Hybrid Theory EP, but appears in the redone/reworked chorus in Mike's remix done later.

Green Lantern Remix

"Nobody's Listening" was remixed by DJ Green Lantern for We Major by Fort Minor and is the fifteenth song on the mixtape which was released in October 2005 to promote The Rising Tied.

Mike's verses were re-recorded for the remix. At the end of the second verse, Mike replaces the last two lines with, "What up to the Militia and the LPU."

The remix is over a beat that is structured around and heavily samples "No One Knows" by Queens Of The Stone Age. At times throughout the song, "Threat" by Jay-Z, "Shook Ones (Part II)" by Mobb Deep, and "We Major" by Kanye West featuring Nas and Really Doe are also sampled.

On December 5, 2005, DJ Green Lantern released the We Major EP "street" release on vinyl which contains full versions of "Spraypaint & Inkpens", "Nobody's Listening (Green Remix)", "S.C.O.M.", and "There They Go (Green Remix)" in explicit and clean versions. No overdubs or transitions are present on the EP.


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Nobody's Listening Meteora 2:58 2002 March 25, 2003
  • Samples Linkin Park's "High Voltage".
  • Contains a reference to Jay-Z's "Brooklyn's Finest".
Nobody's Listening Meteora - Instrumentals 3:00 2002
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Nobody's Listening (Green Lantern Remix) We Major 2:32 2005 October 30, 2005
  • Remix by DJ Green Lantern.
  • Samples Queens Of The Stone Age's "No One Knows", Jay-Z's "Threat", Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones (Part II)", and Kanye West's "We Major" (feat. Nas & Really Doe).
Nobody's Listening - Dirty We Major EP 2:29 2005 2005
  • Dirty version of the DJ Green Lantern remix.
  • Lacks the transitions and overdubs.
Nobody's Listening - Clean We Major EP 2:24 2005 2005
  • Clean version of the DJ Green Lantern remix.
  • Lacks the transitions and overdubs.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down (Live) LP Underground 4.0 4:57 July 18, 2004 November 22, 2004
Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down (Live) Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 4:57 July 18, 2004 April 7, 2023
  • Same recording as the LPU 4.0 version.
  • Fades in at the start.
Nobody's Listening Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:54 October 29, 2003 April 7, 2023
Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 5:23 June 15, 2004 April 7, 2023
Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 5:44 August 30, 2004 April 7, 2023


"Nobody's Listening" was performed sporadically throughout the Meteora touring cycle. Its live debut came during the 2003 Projekt Revolution Tour, an extended outro being added to it immediately. Throughout the tour, Xzibit would come out and perform his song, "My Name" over the extended version, with Mike providing the backing on the rap verse. The song didn't survive for long, being dropped after the short run on Projekt Revolution. The song was dropped on the following tours, until it reappeared at the end of the Meteora Australian and Asian Tour at the band's third and final night in Tokyo, Japan. After the song returned, it remained in the setlist for quite some time.

Starting at the band's "warm up" show for their Meteora UK November Tour at the Smoke Out show, the band extended the second verse of the song, with Mike rapping the first verse of "Standing In The Middle" over it. The beat of the "Standing In The Middle" portion of the track featured drum samples from the song "My Love" by Mary J. Blige. The song was dropped for the final leg of the 2003 tour of holiday festival shows, but brought back at the beginning of 2004 with an extended outro. On the 2004 tour between January and March, Brad and Phoenix swapped instruments frequently on the song. It did not occur at every show, and happened randomly, but sometimes it was for different parts of the song as well.

The full version of "Nobody's Listening" was dropped on the Meteora International Tour, but it remained in the setlist as part of the Hip-Hop Medley. Only the song's first verse and first chorus were featured in the medley.

"Nobody's Listening" has not been performed in its entirety since 2004, but verses of the song were featured during the extended intro of "Points Of Authority" on Projekt Revolution 2007.

During the 2019 Post Traumatic European Tour, Mike rapped the first verse of "Nobody's Listening" during the "Lift Off" jam session in Ludwigsburg.


Last Updated: May 2, 2016

Type Description First Played Last Played
2nd Verse w/ "Standing In The Middle" November 11, 2003 November 25, 2003
Outro w/ Xzibit rapping "My Name" March 9, 2003 April 26, 2003
Outro Mike interacting with the crowd over the chorus instrumental January 16, 2004 March 15, 2004
Alternative Hip-Hop Medley (Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down) June 3, 2004 September 11, 2004

Live Guests

Last Updated: November 13, 2015

  • Xzibit


Linkin Park

  • Chester Bennington: vocals
  • Rob Bourdon: drums
  • Brad Delson: guitar
  • Joseph Hahn: records, sampling
  • Phoenix: bass
  • Mike Shinoda: emcee, vocals, sampling

Additional Musicians

  • David Zasloff: shakuachi flute


  • Don Gilmore: producer
  • Andy Wallace: mixer


External Links