Linkin Park Tell Fans If Jay-Z Release Is Coming

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Linkin Park’s vocalist Mike Shinoda recently stated on Reddit that it doesn’t seem that a Linkin Park/Jay-Z “Collision Course 20” release will happen. He replied with the popular internet meme: “Outlook not so good”

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Birth of Collision Course

Linkin Park collaborated with Jay-Z nineteen years back. In February 2004, a producer who went by the name of Danger Mouse had edited a mash-up of Jay-Z’s The Black Album with The Beatles’ “White Album.” It was produced for fun but The Grey Album quickly went viral and became an immediate sensation. Danger Mouse tasted success as a producer and the mashup attracted attention from major names in the industry. 

They saw potential in the revenue and MTV decided to put together a mash-up series that involved some of the biggest bands working with the hottest rappers. Jay-Z was one of the first people whom the network approached and he backed the idea. The network asked him who he’d want to work with and he responded, “Linkin Park.”

Jay-Z’s manager soon reached out to Linkin Park and they were equally eager to work with the hip-hop star. Nine months later, the two artists released the six-track EP Collision Course, which explored the creative possibilities of blending metal and rap.

Interest from Mike Shinoda

Mike Shinoda heard that Jay-Z wanted to do a mash-up project with the band and he took the initiative to lead the project. “A lot of people were involved, but all the credit goes to Mike [Shinoda] on this one,” the late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington told in 2007. “He really put the whole thing together and got everyone excited about it.”

Back in the day, Linkin Park were on tour, and Shinoda had a laptop and some recording software. He used instrumentals which he downloaded from the web, worked around the clock and recorded demos for three of the mash-ups in a matter of two days. Then, he sent the files of the tracks to Jay-Z.

“We got on the phone with Jay and his people and I basically said that we should make an EP together and make it so good that MTV couldn’t possibly do a complete series because we had done it as it would set the bar too high,” Shinoda said. “So that’s what we did.”

The project certainly put Shinoda back in his comfort zone. In his initial days, the rapper used to sit at home and make mash-ups. Among his early efforts were mixes that featured Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine and the Jackson 5, with vocal tracks by Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan. “That’s pretty much how I learned to produce when I was growing up,” he said. “I’d been doing this kind of stuff since the early ‘90s.”

Success

Collision Course released on November 30, 2004 and it featured major fragments of four songs from Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and three from Meteora mixed with two songs from The Black Album and one each from The Blueprint, Vol. 2…, Hard Knock Life and Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.

Shinoda and Jay-Z had exchanged files of the songs and decided on what they wanted on the EP. The album featured new vocal takes instead of the ones on the already-released albums as Shinoda, Bennington and Jay-Z recorded their parts for the EP between July 16 and 19, 2004.

Collision Course entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 and the single “Numb/Encore” won “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Collision Course went platinum on July 19, 2005 and was registered double platinum by the RIAA on Aug. 15, 2017.

Well, it’s quite unfortunate that a new album won’t be released to commemorate 20 years of the amazing creation.