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Beverly Hills. A typical late spring morning in Southern California. We meet Joe Hahn at Machine Shop, the in-house management and innovation studio of Linkin Park. It’s a think tank that develops and executes on ideas that align with the band’s global interests across music, technology, content and design. It’s also where Joe Hahn’s office is located. To date Linkin Park has sold over 50 million albums, won 4 MTV Music Video Awards, 3 World Music Awards, and been nominated six times for the Grammy Awards, winning twice. Incidentally, Joe is the first Korean–American artist to have won a Grammy. Joe shows us some of his artwork, sketches, and a paint job he designed especially for Mercedes- AMG, in cool chrome and fire-red. It will celebrate its premiere in the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps when the GT3 version approaches the starting line in the FIA GT3 Series. We get into Joe’s prized possession of the moment, his Mercedes-AMG GT S. With few words and a lot of roaring, we head off down Wilshire Boulevard, through the forest of signs on La Brea Avenue. The colorful work of the popular graffiti artist Alec Monopoly flies past us. “An insane car, a real gem. A true masterpiece! How someone from the past would have imagined the perfect car in the year 2016 – this is it. The aerodynamics, the shape, the homage to the original idea, the technology,” says Joe, gripping the Alcantara steering wheel tighter. The Linkin Park DJ recalls how mesmerized he was in his childhood by sleek designs like the DeLorean from the classic film “Back to the Future” – or the car-dominated TV series from the 1980s: “‘Knight Rider’, ‘Hardcastle and McCormick’, ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ ... the car was the superhero!” says Joe. “Before that, it was the horse. Then came the engines. Batman and Robin in the Batmobile. Steve McQueen and his Mustang. There’s a profound connection between a man and his horse – a man and his car.” We stop in front of The Seventh Letter, an art gallery and boutique in Hollywood’s fashionable Fairfax District. The work exhibited there by the graffiti artist Push is held in the colors of the Venice neighborhood’s skater culture and freestyle high-tops from Reebok. Joe Hahn has also exhibited there; it’s the place where he indulges his passion for street art. Linkin Park is one of the most celebrated bands in the world. We’ve set off on a short little joyride through Los Angeles with Joe Hahn, the creative DJ of the American six-piece. Somewhere between manga, street art and start-up. B W 48


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