Mike Shinoda Explains Why He Initially Released 'Happy Endings' As An NFT

By Katrina Nattress

May 6, 2021

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage right now, but just a couple months ago they were relatively unknown. When Mike Shinoda released his latest single "Happy Endings," he debuted the song as 10 NFTs and gifted a signed print of its album art to the holders, but it was still such a new concept that he had to convince his label it was a good idea.

"Nobody involved with the song knew what the h**l it was," the Linkin Park cofounder admitted during an interview with Rolling Stone. "My manager had to literally go to Warner Records and Disney and be like, 'Mike wants to do this thing. And before you freak out, let me tell you that he’s going to donate all the money to charity. And if anything comes up with the rights, then we’ll talk about it then.' And so far it’s been fine."

"The events that are making the news right now are not the average fan and average listener or the average consumer," Shinoda continued. "It is a specific crypto, blockchain, and NFT-centric or fanatic group of people who are the ones really spending money on NFTs. There isn’t a lot of difference between what they’re doing and stocks or crypto, or even trading art. They’re basically doing a version of the art market on the blockchain. The average person doesn’t own a Damien Hirst. However, all this really is, is a file whose owner can be verified."

"Everyone can wrap their heads around the idea that if Michael Jordan wore a specific pair of shoes and then played the NBA finals and won the finals, took off his shoes, signed them and auctioned them off, that pair of shoes would be worth a lot of money," he explained. "Well, what if the Michael Jordan of Call of Duty does the same thing with the character skin that they were wearing in their game? That does mean something to the fans. One person may say, 'I don’t care about owning Michael Jordan’s shoes.' And the other person can say, 'I’ll spend $1.5 million on them.'”

Listen to "Happy Endings" below.

Photo: Getty Images

Mike Shinoda
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