Published on : February 12, 2023 at 09:09
Imagine if you will, the year is 2006.
With the iPhone a year away, the world was captivated by Blackberries, Razrs, Hiptops and LG Chocolate. As the recording industry fully settled into its future in the digital space, and that included the way we listened to music, there was (unfortunately) no better way to show it than with a ring.
MTV noticed the dominance of ringtones, and at the 2006 MTV VMAs, for the first and only time, received an award for Ringtone of the Year.
Up for the award were Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”, Nelly’s “Grillz”, “Ms. New Booty” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps”. However, the winner of the award was none other than Fort Minor for the song “Where’d You Go”, taken from their 2006 LP. The linked climb.
As mike shinoda walks up to accept his award, throngs of teenagers wave their mates and phones at the camera, truly setting the stage for the odd awards show.
“This is the first VMA I’ve won for Fort Minor,” Shinoda says. He goes on to thank Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Machine Shop and various others involved in the release of the album. He runs through a quick list of names before exiting the stage.
It’s not crazy why Fort Minor won the award that year. In terms of sales, the song was certified platinum, went to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped The linked rise obtain a platinum-sales certification.
For the record, the song was pretty much everywhere and definitely dominated the ringtones of the year. Shinoda’s production is simple and smooth, sharing Linkin Park’s DNA but still carrying its own identity. Holly Brook and Jonah Matranga’s vocal feature is catchy and an all-time earworm.
Regardless of the award, Shinoda was clearly thrilled to get it and, to his credit, accepts it with seriousness and grace. It also makes us miss discreet ringtones, before the uniformity of cell phone offerings from Apple and Android changed our phones forever.
Check out his speech below.