It's Goin' Down
|"It's Goin' Down"|
|Single by X-Ecutioners Feat. Mike Shinoda and Mr. Hahn|
|from the album Built From Scratch|
|B-side||X-Ecution Of A Bum Rush, Play That Beat (Lo-Fidelity All-Stars Remix)|
|Released||April 1, 2002|
|Format||Digital, CD, Vinyl|
Linkin Park - Crawling|
Linkin Park - Dedicated
Hybrid Theory - Step Up
Xzibit - Year 2000
James Brown - Funky President
Big L - Put It On (feat. Kid Capri)
|Live debut||February 7, 2002|
March 15, 2004 (Linkin Park)|
September 8, 2015 (Fort Minor)
|Writer(s)||Mike Shinoda, Joseph Hahn, Anthony Williams (Roc Raida), Keith Bailey (DJ Total Eclipse), Rob Aguilar (Rob Swift), Melvin Jones, Alvin Joiner (Xzibit), Melvin Charles Bradford (Mel-Man)|
|Producer(s)||Mike Shinoda, Roc Raida, Sean Cane|
|Label||Loud Records, Columbia|
"It's Goin' Down" is a song written by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Hahn in collaboration with the X-Ecutioners and was released as a single in March 2002, doing fairly well on the worldwide charts. Lisa Worden, music director for Los Angeles' influential modern-rock station KROQ, said at the time: "The X-Ecutioners song 'It's Going Down' has been huge on the phones for us. It sounds amazing on the air and has been instantly reactive."
"It's Goin' Down" was included on the group's second studio album, entitled Built From Scratch, which came out on January 29, 2002. Mike, Roc Raida and Sean C co-produced the song. Roc Raida and Sean C would later work on "X-Ecutioner Style" for Reanimation.
Mike Shinoda first announced the collaboration on a message sent to the Linkin Park Street Team on July 3, 2001: "one thing a lot of people ask is "when is new music coming out?" we will probably be out supporting this album on tour well into next year...but there are a number of things that will be coming out. the first things that you can look for will be appearing in the next few months. firstly, chester did a song with a band called cyclefly, so look for that. secondly, joe and i did a song with a dj crew called the xecutioners, which is due out on loud records in august. their album is called "built from scratch" and the song will be called "it's going down". it's mostly a hip hop track. i hope you guys hear the songs and enjoy them." The album however was delayed and only came out on January 29, 2002.
In a July 2, 2004 interview with The Times-Picayune, Rob Swift explained how the collaboration came about: "During the recording of "Built From Scratch," a Loud executive brought a copy of Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" to the studio, hoping to spark a collaboration. We stopped the session and sat there and played songs from the album and pretty much fell in love with everything we heard. We knew that we wanted to work with them. That same night, I called (Linkin Park vocalist/rapper) Mike Shinoda. The first thing he said was, 'Wow, the legend Rob Swift on the phone.' It let me know that he was a fan of us. Once I got on the phone with him, I knew that (the collaboration) was going to take place."
Mike wasn't the only X-Ecutioners fan on Linkin Park. Mr. Hahn told E!: "They are pioneers of deejaying. As turntabling developed, they were one of the original crews to come up [from the underground]. It's a great honor to work with them because I respect them so much."
On MTV's TRL in 2001, there was a segment about the collaboration. Mike said, "As you can tell, it takes years and years to perfect what they do. They're awesome." When they scored a top 20 album, Rob Swift said, "It started out with a phone call, actually we heard their album when we were in the studio. We just fell in love with every song on the album and we were like, "Yo, Linkin Park is capturing the same type of energy we are trying to capture in our music, so why don't we collaborate with them?" As soon as I got on the phone with Mike, there was instant love. He already knew who I was, he already knew who the group was. He was a fan of The X-Ecutioners. Working with Linkin Park was an interesting process because at the time, they were on the road and we were back home in New York working on the album so we just had to send each other stuff back and forth. But it turned out to sound, you know, we were together every step of the way." The groups met for the first time at rehearsals for the MTV 2001 Video Music Awards where they performed "One Step Closer" together. Rob said, "It goes to show how down to earth and giving they are. You know, to invite some DJ's from New York that aren't known to people like Britney Spears and *NSYNC, to perform with them on stage. It was just a real good gesture on their part."
Then, Linkin Park invited them on tour. Rob said, "We hit places like Iowa and Utah and cities that we never thought we'd visit as DJs. And here we were performing in front of tens of thousands of people that never saw a person like Rob Swift on the turntables or Roc Raida or Total Eclipse. We didn't hook up with Linkin Park because we thought they were going to be these big time platinum selling artists, we just hooked up with them because they were good musicians so we thought, "Why not make an album bridging hip hop and rock together?""
Mike was asked about the song in September 2020 on Twitch and how it came about. He said, "The X-Men, known as The X-Ecutioners, got signed as a group to Loud Music, Loud Records. And Sean C who works with Jay-Z, he's been in the game forever. He's like a legend. He was their A&R guy and he came to us and said, "Hey, would you be down to work with these guys?" And I already knew... on the East Coast to me, I was trying to think, to me, would there have been a group of DJs who were more legendary? There were radio DJs there were, but in terms of scratching and performance, I think they were the dudes. Because individually they were so dope and then they got together and it was like, "Woah, a super group of DJs." And Joe and I loved their stuff, we were way into it. I produced and wrote the track myself. Did they send drums? I feel like maybe they sent some drums and I did all of the guitars, and Joe did the scratching and they did some stuff. I don't know if they sent some drum tracks with some scratching on it or not. But I produced it; I forgot who mixed it actually, I think they might have actually picked the mixer."
Linkin Park had a rigorous road schedule and were unable to commit to a block of studio time. So, the X-Ecutioners got the wheels spinning by assembling a DAT of different beats and scratches and sending it to Linkin Park, who recorded their passages onto the disc and sent it back. This back-and-forth process continued for a few volleys before both parties were happy with the results. Then all the musicians hooked up in the studio to put the final touches on the song.
"It's Goin' Down" samples "Step Up" (off of the Hybrid Theory EP) and "Dedicated" (off of the LP Underground 2.0) by Linkin Park and "Year 2000" by Xzibit. Because of this, Xzibit and Mel-Man were credited as writers of the song. "Watch them flee/Hip hop heads" comes from "Dedicated", and the "You do it like this" sample is from "Step Up". Part of the main guitar riff is sampled from "Crawling" as well.
Despite the success of the single and the album, Rob Swift said in the 2012 book "Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ" that: "My role on that song was just more of a supporting role. We'd show up at places and it would be like, 'Yo, is Mike Shinoda here? Are you going to perform 'It's Goin' Down?' And after, like, hearing that a thousand times we tried to figure out ways to perform 'It's Goin' Down' without Mike Shinoda and that didn't work. It never worked. The album revolved more around who we collaborated with and it didn't really shine a light on us artistically."
On June 29, 2015 at the first Fort Minor comeback show, Mike referred to the song as essentially a Fort Minor track "before the name existed", giving reason to why Fort Minor has played the song at every show.
|1||It's Goin' Down - Featuring Mike Shinoda and Mr. Hahn of Linkin Park||Shinoda Mike, Hahn Joseph, Williams Anthony, Bailey Keith, Aguilar Rob, Jones Melvin, Joiner Alvin, Bradford Charles Melvin||4:08|
|2||X-Ecution Of A Bum Rush - Featuring The Beat Junkies (Babu and J-Rocc)||R. Aguilar, J.J. Jackson, A. Williams, J.J. Wright||2:58|
|3||Play That Beat / Lo-Fidelity All Stars Remix||H. McGuire, J. Miller||4:22|
|1||It's Goin' Down||Shinoda Mike, Hahn Joseph, Williams Anthony, Bailey Keith, Aguilar Rob, Jones Melvin, Joiner Alvin, Bradford Charles Melvin||4:12|
|2||It's Goin' Down (Instrumental)||Shinoda, Hahn, Williams, Bailey, Aguilar, Jones, Joiner, Bradford||4:14|
|3||X-Ecutioners (Theme) Song - Featuring Dan The Automater||R. Aguilar, Daniel M. Nakamura||4:22|
|4||It's Goin' Down (Scratchapella)||Shinoda, Hahn, Williams, Bailey, Aguilar, Jones, Joiner, Bradford||2:15|
The music video for the song was shot sometime around December 2001 or early January 2002, judging by Mike's comments in the LPU chat from January 11, 2002 where he said, "we just did the video for the x-ecutioners song. joe directed it."
In the music video X-Ecutioners, Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn can be seen playing with Rob Bourdon on drums, Phoenix on bass, and Wayne Static from Static-X on guitar, even though none of the three are featured in the actual song. Other cameo appearances in the video include Chester Bennington and Brad Delson, members of Adema, Xzibit, hed (p.e.), the Liks, and the Beat Junkies and some professional skateboarders.
Mike in June 2020 explained, "You know, Joe directed it. Joe basically wanted to do a performance video in a really unique environment. It wasn't anything crazy. Brad wasn't available, I played guitar on the song. I wrote and recorded the guitar on the song, so anybody could have played guitar. And we wanted me to be rapping in the video. And Joe reached out to Wayne Static from Static-X about doing it. Part of it was just like bringing in that element of, "oh shit, look at that guy", because his look was so crazy. So that was fun, though. The X-Men were dope, they were so great. All super nice guys and obviously insanely talented with a ton of history behind them. They were like innovators in that space along with like Beat Junkiez.... like dozens of them you can name. That lead into guys like Z-Trip and so many others. But again, I could just go down the rabbit hole forever on that stuff."
The video was directed by Mr. Hahn and was shot at the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, the same place where Guns N' Roses shot "Welcome To The Jungle". It was debuted on Total Request Live in February 2002 and became an MTV staple at the time. Vance Burberry, who had previously worked on the "In The End" video, was director of photography.
Rob Swift spoke to MTV about the video in February 2002: "They had just dropped their album and were still trying to get known. We heard the record and fell in love with every song on it. We were like, ‘Yo, Linkin Park is capturing the same energy that we want to capture in our music, so why don’t we try to collaborate?’ In the end, it sounded like we were together every step of the way. I think that’s what happens with good musicians. You don’t have to be there present in order to get across what you want. Mike [Shinoda] is kind of ignoring us at first [in the video], but once we start scratching, he sees that we’re talented as well, and what we do on the turntables and how we express ourselves could only add to and intensify their music. What it’s really about is bridging the world of DJing and scratching with the world of rock. Bridging the turntable with the guitar and the vocals with what we’re doing on turntables and making it real. With a lot of videos you see girls with bikinis and cars. With this, it was just us being ourselves. The way you see us in the video is the way you see us every day."
Artist Name: The X-Ecutioners
Production Designer: Jeremy Reed
Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.
|It's Goin' Down (featuring Mike Shinoda and Mr. Hahn of Linkin Park)||Built From Scratch
Kerrang! 4: The Album
|4:08||2001||January 29, 2002|
|It's Goin' Down||It's Goin' Down (Promo)||4:04||2001||2002||
|It's Goin' Down (Radio Edit)||It's Goin' Down||3:45||2001||March 15, 2002|
|It's Goin' Down (Radio Edit)||It's Goin' Down (AU Single)||3:37||2001||March 15, 2002||
|It's Goin' Down||3:49||2001||
|It's Goin' Down||3:33||2001||2001||
|It's Goin' Down (feat. Linkin Park)||Built From Scratch (Advance CD)||3:33||2001||2001||
|It's Goin' Down (Instrumental)||It's Goin' Down (Vinyl)||4:08||2001||March 15, 2002|
|It's Goin' Down (Scratchapella)||It's Goin' Down (US Vinyl)||2:13||2001||March 15, 2002||
|Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down (Live)||LP Underground 4.0||4:57||July 18, 2004||November 22, 2004||
|It's Goin' Down||Collision Course||1:24||July 18, 2004||November 30, 2004||
|It's Goin' Down||Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||5:09||February 23, 2002||October 9, 2020||
Despite the X-Ecutioners opening Linkin Park's Countdown To Revolution tour in fall 2001 and even though "It's Goin' Down" had already been recorded, the song was not performed on the tour.
"It's Goin' Down" was debuted live on February 7th, 2002, on the seventh show of Projekt Revolution 2002 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. There are LPU video episodes from the time period that show the band discussing them rehearsing the song before the first six shows of the tour. When it was added to the setlist, it took the spot of "And One" (from the Hybrid Theory EP), which hasn't been played again to this day.
During a linkinpark.com chat on July 29, 2002, Rob Bourdon said: "We didn't play High Voltage on Project Revolution because we didn't fit into the set as well as some other songs. We replaced it with It's Goin Down, becuase we had some other artists on the tour that were perfect to help us out with that."
The live debut of the song featured Z-Trip, who went on to join the band for most of the performances of the song during the tour. On February 8th, 2002 in Uniondale, NY, Z-Trip and Riff Raff joined the band for that performance as the X-Ecutioners (who were from New York) couldn't make it to the show. Coming in at almost four minutes long, the track was extended a bit to feature additional scratching on it.
After being absent in all of 2003 from setlists, the song came back on the Meteora World Tour in North America in January 2004, being performed at every show of the tour. Mike performed an acapella intro to the track. In the summer, Linkin Park decided to mash up "Step Up", "Nobody's Listening", and "It's Goin' Down" to form what fans called the "Hip Hop Medley". On August 30th, 2004, Snoop Dogg came out on a scooter onstage and rapped a verse from "Gin And Juice" over an extended ending of the track.
Brad's phrasing on the main "It's Goin' Down" riff when Linkin Park plays it live is totally different from how it appears on the studio version.
Mike would rap the first verse of "It's Goin' Down" over the intro of "Points Of Authority" and the outro of "Castle Of Glass" sporadically during the Minutes To Midnight and One More Light touring cycles, respectively.
In 2005, Mike played "It's Goin' Down" with Fort Minor at their very first show in Belgium and it has been played at every FM show since, surviving even the 2006-2015 hiatus of Fort Minor.
Mike performed verse one and part of verse two over the extended intro of "Kenji" during his Post Traumatic Tour stop in Beijing, China. On the tour, Mike would usually rap a verse of "Hands Held High" during that part of the set, but as the song was banned because of strict Chinese censorship, Mike played with a few verses while in China. Only part of verse two was performed because the crowd's clapping made Mike laugh and trip up. He later performed the whole song in Wien as a request. The song was then added into the regular rotation. Near the end of the cycle, Mike changed up the chorus of the track, simplifying it to make it easier for crowds to sing along to it. At the last two shows of the Post Traumatic cycle, he mashed the song up with "Step Up".
Rob Swift has said the X-Ecutioners tried to figure out ways of playing the song live but it never worked. Their only known performance of "It's Goin' Down" happened on May 16th, 2002, when Biohazard and Xzibit appeared on CBS' The Late Show With David Letterman as special guests of the X-Ecutioners for a performance of the song.
Last Updated: May 2, 2016
|Type||Description||First Played||Last Played|
|Alternative||Hip-Hop Medley (Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down)||June 3, 2004||September 11, 2004|
Last Updated: May 3, 2020
|Type||Description||First Played||Last Played|
|Alternative||2019 Chorus||March 21, 2019||September 4, 2019|
|Mashup||w/ 'Step Up'||September 6, 2019||September 8, 2019|
- Mike Shinoda: vocals, guitar
- Mr. Hahn, Rob Swift, Roc Raida, Total Eclipse, Mista Sinista: scratching
- Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Anthony Williams (Roc Raida), Keith Bailey (DJ Total Eclipse), Rob Aguilar (Rob Swift), Melvin Jones, Alvin Joiner, Melvin Charles Bradford (Mel-Man): writing
- Mike Shinoda: production
- Roc Raida, Sean Cane: co-production
- Leon Zervos: mastering
- Peter Kang, Sean Cane, X-Ecutioners: executive production
- Michael Patterson, J.D. Andrew: mixing
Watch them flee
Watch them flee
I knew I was being threatened
I knew I was being threatened
In Other Media
- "It's Goin' Down" is featured in the 15th episode of Season 5 of the TV series The Challenge, titled "Siamese Wrestling".
- X-ecutioners Turn the Tables | E! News, February 26, 2002
- Prince Paul, Alchemist Testing Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory - MTV, September 26, 2001
- pushmeaway.com - Wayback Machine, July 03, 2001
- Instagram TV: The X-Ecutioners on MTV's TRL, 2001
- YouTube: Mike Shinoda - 9.11 // Freestyle Friday // live drums, ProTools, new Native Instruments gear, September 11, 2020
- MTV - X-ecutioners Continue Their ‘Audible Odyssey’ With Linkin Park, February 25, 2002
- Quick question? Ask here! - Page 24 - Everything Linkin Park - Linkin Park Live - Page 24, March 10, 2013
- Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ - Mark Katz - Google Books
- Fort Minor - It's Going Down @ Exchange LA (06/29/15) - YouTube, June 30, 2015
- LPU Chat: January 11, 2002 - Mike Shinoda
- LPLive: Mike Q&A Summary 6/11/2020, June 11, 2020
- Joe Transcript (Lp.com Chat), April 2003
- Vance Burberry | IMVDb
- The X-Ecutioners - It's Goin' Down (2002) | IMVDb
- Biohazard To Join X Ecutioners For "Letterman" Appearance - Blabbermouth.net, May 08, 2002
- The PRP - The Only Site Online With A Budonkadonk Butt, May 08, 2002