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Papercut (Linkin Park song)

"Papercut" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released as the third single from their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000), and appears as the opening track on the record. The single "Papercut" was never officially released in the US. The song reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart in 2001 and was in the chart for 6 weeks.[2][3] It also reached number 32 on the Modern Rock Tracks Chart in 2002.[4]

Linkin Park - Papercut CD cover.jpg
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Hybrid Theory
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2001
RecordedNew Orleans, Louisiana, July 2000
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Linkin Park
Producer(s)Don Gilmore
Linkin Park singles chronology
"In the End"
Audio sample
Music video
"Papercut" on YouTube



Lead singer Chester Bennington stated that "Papercut" was one of his favorite Linkin Park songs.[5] In live performances, the line "something in here's not right today" is changed to "something inside's not right today". Also, Bennington screamed parts of the verses during live performances. It was also included in the soundtrack of the 2001 film The One.

On Linkin Park's remix album Reanimation (2002), there is a remix of this song, titled "Ppr:Kut", which was remixed by Cheapshot. Elements from the song were used in the song "Sold My Soul to Yo Mama", which appears on the Linkin Park Underground 4.0 and Songs from the Underground. Furthermore, the mashup EP Collision Course (2004) contains a mix of this song and Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'", in 2005, the song was mashed-up with David Banner's "Like a Pimp (Remix)" for the mixtape hosted by Mike Shinoda (the band's rapper and lead vocalist), Rock Phenomenon, creating the song David Banner vs. Linkin Park.

On the band's previous single, "Crawling", a live performance on the song was included as the single's b-side.

From 2014 to 2016, the band shortened the song from their set list, removing the second verse and the second chorus. However, the full version was brought back in 2017.

Music videoEdit

The music video shows the band in a seemingly haunted house. They are playing the song in a room with little light with a rather spooky picture sampled from the cover artwork of the Xero demo tape. This was painted by Mike Shinoda the night before the video was shot. To the right of their room is a dark kitchen that sports a bound and writhing figure (likely the paranoid individual referenced in the song); to the left of their room is what appears to be a laboratory with a strange creature inside. It moves extremely fast and in an erratic manner.

Later in the song, the creature releases dragonflies (probably referring to the wings of a Hybrid Theory Soldier), while the baby picture and regions of the left wall bulge. Drummer Rob Bourdon's eyes appear melted as well (using special effects). Also, there is a statue of a bird which spins its head all the way around, and at one point, Shinoda's fingers stretch. There are parts of the song during which Shinoda is out of sync with the music, and at one point not even moving his mouth while he is speaking. In the video, the first member of the band to take notice of the strange goings-on is Bourdon (probably because he's the only one not playing an instrument), although bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell and vocalist Chester Bennington also start to notice the dragonflies and the bulgings on the wall towards the end of the video.

The lyrics of the song appear scribbled along the walls in the dark rooms. Even though the song features heavy distorted electric guitars, Brad Delson plays acoustic guitar and Phoenix plays acoustic bass in the video. The effects and imagery of the music video bring to the audience a sense of irritation and certain paranoia, which is what the song is about. At some point in the middle of the video, around 2:03, a strange blue figure runs past the band. Also note that at the end after the screen flashes black once, the band is gone, but their instruments are left where the band members were.

The music video was co-directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox and LP's turntablist Joseph Hahn (who also directed the videos for "Pts.OF.Athrty" and "In the End"). It was not released for the US.[6]

Chart performanceEdit

"Papercut" the fourth single released from Hybrid Theory in the U.S, and only charted on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at number 32, although it stayed on the chart for 18 weeks. The song peaked at number 14 on the UK singles Chart.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Linkin Park.

2."Points of Authority" (Live)3:25
3."Papercut" (Live)3:12
4."Papercut" (Video)3:13



Chart (2001–02) Position
Australia (ARIA)[7] 87
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 43
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 49
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 39
Poland (LP3)[11] 32
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 80
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[13] 32
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 14
Chart (2017) Position
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[15] 100
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[16] 18


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "26 Nu Metal Workout Songs". May 28, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Chart Stats for "Papercut" by Linkin Park
  3. ^ Roberts, David (20 May 2005). Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and Albums (18th ed.). Guinness World Records Limited. p. 299. ISBN 1-904994-00-8.
  4. ^ Linkin Park. "Linkin Park - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  5. ^ Hyman, Dan. "Readers' Poll: The Best Linkin Park Songs - 3. "Papercut"". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media.
  6. ^ "Papercut (Official Video) on". Archived from the original on 2012-04-20. from
  7. ^ "ISSUE603.PDF" (PDF). Pandora: Australia's Web Archive. Archived from the original on 2002-02-21. Retrieved July 23, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Linkin Park - Papercut". Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  9. ^ GmbH, / PhonoNet. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche -". (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  10. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Linkin Park - Papercut". Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  11. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |".
  12. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Linkin Park - Papercut -". Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  13. ^ "Linkin Park Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Linkin Park: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ - SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201730 into search. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "Linkin Park Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Linkin Park – Papercut". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Papercut in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit