Album: Hybrid Theory (2000)
Charted: 14
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  • The first song on Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, "Papercut" is about people who have annoyed you for years and how you hate them. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dean - Chalfont, England
  • In 2007, when performing this song live at a concert in Melbourne, part of the performance was for Chester Bennington to jump on to the stage, but he got his foot caught in a step, fell backwards and he broke his wrist. He and the band decided that "his wrist will be just as broken now as it will be in an hour" so Chester sang through the rest of the concert with a broken wrist. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Toby - Dalby, Australia
  • In the video, the band performs in the swank lounge of a house, unaware of the sinister events unfolding in the surrounding rooms. Drummer Rob Bourdon is bored with just sitting on the couch, and starts noticing something isn't quite right with the room, which starts to shape-shift. A baby picture on the wall (painted by Mike Shinoda the day before the shoot) starts to bulge as dragonflies from the nightmarish rooms try to break through.

    Twenty years later, Shinoda still didn't know what the video is about. "The only thing about that song that didn't age well, in retrospect, is the video," he told Kerrang. "If you watch the video, I'm sorry, I don't know what we we're doing." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mandy - St. Louis, Missouri
  • A live version from London appears on their 2002 album, In the End: Live & Rare. The song "Points of Authority" was included on this single.
  • A version of this also appears on their 2002 album, Reanimation. It was remixed by Cheapshot from the group Styles of Beyond, as well as MC Planet Asia and Rasco. The entire album is comprised of remixed versions of Linkin Park songs.
  • The video is a thank you to Linkin Park's fans in the UK. If you look carefully at one point in the video you can see the creature from the room run past Chester and Mike. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Pawl - London, England
  • This is one of the Linkin Park songs the supposedly influenced Charles Andrew Williams to go on a shooting spree in Santee, California in 2001. On an NBC Dateline interview, one of Williams' friends said that Linkin Park's music inspired him to kill.
  • Shinoda wasn't too fond of the plaid outfit Bennington chose to wear for the video, but he kept quiet to keep the peace. "I remember Chester showing up in all-plaid, a whole plaid outfit on, and I was thinking, 'That's a very weird choice,'" he told Kerrang. "It was the type of thing where you have to choose your battles because at that point there was so much on the line, we were just breaking, and there were minor disagreements on things all the time, so I wasn't about to get into a conversation with him about the outfit when we're just trying to shoot a great video."
  • This was used in the 2001 Jet Li film The One.
  • With nearly 5 million copies sold, Hybrid Theory was the best-selling album of 2001. By September 2020, sales reached 12 million in the US.
  • Looking back on the song in a 2020 Vulture interview, Shinoda said the tune is a perfect representation of Linkin Park's early style. "I always felt like 'Papercut' was so much of the band in one song," he explained. "It starts off with this really bouncy hip-hop beat. I was influenced by everyone from Jay-Z to Timbaland - Timbo a lot. That bounce, that beat in the beginning, it was probably part him and part the rock bands that were imitating that bounce, like ourselves. But the thing is, it starts out with this hip-hop bounce, then it immediately kicks in with a very at the time cutting-edge [version of] what you would now call a nu-metal riff. Over the top of that, if you listen, there's a jungle beat, which is a subgenre of electronic music that never hit the mainstream. And then there's the rap chorus, plus all the glitching effects on the vocal, and then you hit the end and it's a huge melodic release. I think between the sounds, emotions, and lyrics, it's very much [in the style of] first couple Linkin Park albums."

Comments: 36

  • Brandon from Cape TownThe term papercut means (urban dictionary) to be more impressive on paper than in person, when listening to the lyrics or rather feeling the lyrics i am of the opinion that even LP was letting the listener know that they too are the same as most other people. While their fans adore them and place them on a pedestal (of sorts) they suffer from the same things that their fans and many others do. They see their pain as less than some people (who have faced serious tragedy or shock) hence the words, 'your paranoia is probably worse' but are informing the listener that the same things we struggle with, contend with, are silent and embarrassed about, they struggle with too. With all the songs, self love books and marketing informing sufferers to speak out, it is still a struggle which is kept beneath the skin, a secret kept from the eyes of others. Where many people tell you to see the light at the end of the tunnel they say the light betrays them, once again alluding to the darkness that envelopes the person. In short, i think the name 'Papercut' is relevant to the song as it speaks to the confidence we portray to others but the unsecurity we hide from them at the same time but can never be hidden from ourselves.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjTo say that this band doesn't understand hardships is wrong. Chester was molested as a kid, got picked on in school, and had serious drug problems. They are writing from the heart (not to mention the fact that alot of time and thought goes into writing their songs). As for the angsty, or as some say immature nature of their lyrics; remember they were still young at the time they made these songs. If you listen to their later material they have more positive and uplifting lyrics in their songs (Mike even says, "I am not the fortune and the fame, NOR THE SAME PERSON TELLING YOU TO FORFEIT THE GAME," in one song. If you don't like their music that's fine but don't fasely accuse them just because the don't fit your personal tastes.
  • Dominic from Lawton, OkI'd prefer to say their songs sound similar well at least the earlier stuff every band has their sound and about chester not being able to sing is crazy to me but 1 thing about rock is you dont have to be and R&B style singer to come out with something good but its not like these guys are just bringing out just anything alot of this stuff takes talent not everything is going to be to everyones liking. Anyway I think this song is about someone being overly cautious in other words paranoid
  • Jennie from Ansonia, CtStephanie Meyer was listening to this song while writing the scene where Bella gets a papercut in New Moon and how disastrous the results were.
  • Azalea from Hot Springs, ArFrom my point of view, this song is acctually about dealing with the paranoia of your problems while everyone around you is terrorizing you about it, while they probably have similar problems. I felt this way quite often at the begining of the school year.
  • Matt from Houston, TxI am a musician and songwriter and honestly, I can't find signifigance in it. when I write a song,I have lyrics in my head nagging at me. then, i get a paper and it just pours out. it's called soul. as for it's adolescent "guidance" I have attempted suicide 3 times from ages 13 to 15. the only music that helped me was my own and bands that actually understood
  • Matt from Houston, TxActually I am split. I think christy is right because linkin park's songs sound the same. Technichally though, they started their own sound. I hate modern day music, say a few bands, but I could understand someone liking this.I"s not like my type. I think they could better spread the message by bieng dark and inconspicuous but that is just my opinion.
  • Ian from Chilli, Ohchristy, they are a very original band. while u may not like them, thats fine, but dont go on a tangent about how they dont know anything about music theory. correct me if im wrong, but led zeppelin and other classics werent started based on musical education and theory. they just went, and people loved them. same with linkin park. they are a sensation, whether u like it or not. and i love linkin park, disturbed, slipknot, and other modern bands. u can argue that they are just a bunch of idiots making uneducated music, but in truth, all the aforementioned bands are very lyrical and intelligent. and if u dont buy into that, listen to system of a down, if they cant make u think, u are obviously not as intelligent as u would like to think u are. today's music, at least some of it, it way better than people like you give it credit for. linkin park and soad are better than most "classic rock" bands. nobody cares if you're sixteen, that doesnt make u an expert, that just reveals u as ignorant. if u dont like it, fine, but dont publicly criticize it unless u know what ur talking about.
  • Minh from Strongsville, OhChristy, i am a classical musician, and i can respect this music. in music today, its all about the words. and even though they dont put lots of work into the details and making it difficult, for them its all about the chord progression and the sound. when i say "they," i am talking about all of today's artists, everyone from Slipknot to
    Brad Paisly to T-Payne. Linkin Park all sounds the same, and i love it every time. i love this song too. PS no one is going to respect your opinion more because your 16 and not an old person. f off if you cant respect today's music. go post a more positive comment on a song you actually like.
  • Christy from Palm Springs, Cathe lead "singer" can't actually sing I just hope you know and all of Linkin Park songs sound the same and they don't know about melody, harmony, instrumentation, or music theory. Thats why music today sucks and I am not an old person saying this, I'm sixteen.
  • Tilsen from Lewiston, Idhey i think this song is about having a little voice in the back of ur head telling you to do stuff u know is wrong you know like as LP says "a face right beaneath the skin" Linkin park rocks!
  • Garrett from Islip, NyI definitely agree with Alex from Cupertino, CA.
    I have schizophrenia, and a lot of the lyrics describe how it feels. They talk about a bunch of things like how the face points out your mistakes, and laughs at you. Whenever I'm around people I don't know, or are uncomfortable with, I sort of turtle up, and over-analyze everything. "I don't know what stressed me first
    Or how the pressure was fed, but
    I know just what it feels like
    To have a voice in the back of my head"
    Perfect description there.
    Thank you for your time.
  • Alex from Cupertino, CaAfter studying for my Psychology final, I listened to this song... and it totally reminded me of Schizophrenia... or Multiple Personality disorder.

    But realistically it's probably about our inner-critic. God knows, I have a few of those.
  • Sadman from Pittsburgh, PaI think this video is the coolest!! But I still don't understand the meaning of this song.
  • Dan from Greater Detroit, MiIMO, The title "Papercut" is a metaphor for the feelings described in the song wherein, it may not look like a big deal on the outside but can be extremely painful to experience, referred to with the line "right beneath your skin". When I listened the first time I immediately thought it was about social anxiety, aggravated by a "perfect" older sibling or some other role model.
  • Daniel from Ada, OkI started feeling sort of paranoid when I was 14. I'm 16 now. I thought I knew what the song meant. Then I figured I wasn't old enough to understand. Now I'm like "Damn I"m feelin' this song." Linkin Park use to be my favorite band.
  • Schatten from Seattle, WaI don't particularly think that Papercut is about paranoia, as everyone seems to believe. I think it's more about having part of your subconscious nagging at you and constantly reminding you of every time you screw up or do something wrong, and how the thoughts can drive you mad.
  • Ryan from Pembroke Pines, Flthis song is awesome its my one of my favorite songs to play guita to.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaLinkin Park have really weird titles for dome of theri songs, like Cure For The Itch and Figure.09. I don't even know how to say that.
  • Kayla from Rancho Cucamonga, Camikes rapping in this song is incredible. and while they were making the video, they had to speed up the song so they could play it back slow to make it look like the words are coming out of the boys' mouths a bit slower, meaning mike had to get the already fast lyrics out EVEN FASTER. p.s. i belive the title "papercut" was a working name for the song that just stuck after it was finished.
  • Corey from Dothan, AlLinkin Park gives names to songs before they actually decide what the official name is. Papercut is an instance where the working name they gave to it became the real name. An example where they changed the name is the song "Rhinestone" that they later renamed "Forgotten".

    I just thought I should inform all of you looking for some meaning in the name that there isn't one.
  • Mercedes from Portland Yah!, OrI Think It About U Knowing Yur Messing Up And Yet U Do It Anyways And Like Not Soo Much Paranoia But Like Someone Is Always Looking Over Your back Like Yur Parents or Teachers Watching U Screw Up Your Life But Not Help And Its Like There Always there Even When There Not It Beneath U And In Yur Heart like U Know There Watching
  • Matt from Tulsa, OkMariah was inquiring about why the song was about paranoia yet it was called papercut. Well, my take on subject, is that some people worry more than others, and often about little, insignificant things, such as papercuts. In a literal sense, some people actually go out of their way to handle paper cautiously just to ensure their "safety." It sounds silly, but that's what makes the title so fitting. Paranoia is all about worrying about things that do not matter much at all, but eat at you as badly as any meaningful concern should.
  • Fungus from Here, ScotlandI reckon the title comes from the lyrics being a tiny glimpse at what lies beneath his skin.
  • Josh from Reading, PaThe papercut video was freakin wierd, but I will tell you one good video, the best music viedeo of all time if you ask me...Points of authority, the graphics are AWSOME.
  • Mariah from Miami, FlI suppose, but, it's still kind of confusing to me, for I don't see them implementing any sort of injury. Maybe I'm looking too far into this?
  • Dude from Tx, TxPossibly the vision of a face glaring at you from inside the cut? The face inside is right beneath the skin.
  • Mariah from Miami, FlSo... I if this song is about paranoia... Then, why is it called "Papercut"? This is the only element of the song I don't quite understand...
  • Rebecca from Peoria, Azi like my music dark i'm kinda the dark music type person i just love lp so much and i agree with u chloe...........lp forever
  • Chloe from Hampshire, EnglandLinkin Park are the best songwriters! Its great that they talk about teen issues like low self esteem, depression, peer pressure, self harm and suicide in their songs. They really know what they're on about! Thanks
  • Gabe from Utica, NyThis song is great to wake up to. It's rythem is awesome. I think the song really describes your conscience.
  • Honeybunny from Kkkkkk, United StatesI think this is about the thought that starts usually around the ages of 12 or 13 that your worthless, you cant do nothing right, this usually leads to teen this song really makes a really strong point to its teen listeners
  • Rabi from Zionsville, InThis is 1 of the songs that is so obvious. Listen to the song, the word "paranoid" is used quite a lot.
  • Heather from Fruita, CoActually, This song is about being paranoid. On the Frat Party DVD they tell you this (you have to put on audio commentary).
  • Chronometer from Somerset West, South AfricaIt's about the voice in your head telling you that you're not good enough or that you're not gonna make it, that you're too weak or too stupid.
  • Sarah from Morganville, NjThe video for "Papercut" was directed by DJ Joe Hahn and Nathan "Karma" Cox. If you watch closely, there are little things inserted in the video you might otherwise miss, like at one point, Mike's fingers get really long, and as mentioned before, you can see part of Rob's face being distorted for a brief moment. :D
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