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Mike Shinoda Solo Project


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As much as the Jay-Z and Linkin Park's mash-up project, Collision Course, added to the accolades of each genre's heavyweight, rhyming alongside Jigga made

the group's frontman, Mike Shinoda do some serious thinking on a possible solo hip-hop album.

During a listening session, at the Rockefeller building in New York City, for his upcoming solo project, Shinoda explained his reasoning for doing a all hip-hop album.

"Doing all the production on Collision Course was definitely something that got me thinking," Shinoda told elite members of hip-hop's online press yesterday afternoon (April13). "Then the more people I played the [my own material for people], the more I heard people saying, 'Let me get on the track; I want to do a song with you and you need to put this on a record.' It became less and less of a hobby thing, and more and more of a serious record -- to the point where once I played it for guys like Common, Black Thought from the Roots and Jay-Z, then everybody said look you need to do this!"

The Linkin Park member has since taken heed, recruiting Jay-Z as executive producer for the Fort Minor album, The Rising Tied, off his Machine Shop imprint.

"It's called Fort Minor, instead of my name because there are a bunch of other people involved in the project. But I only wanted to work with family and friends; people that I feel are really close to me and we see eye-to-eye," Shinoda explained. "Besides that, Fort has a militant meaning and Minor in music is a smaller, darker, sadder note, so the name is a reflection of the music."

As invited members of the press (seated at a conference table), lent him their ears, Shinoda went onto play five tracks from the impending album. The first cut, "Remember The Name," hit the speakers with a fresh synthesized offering in which Shinoda yells and asks, "You Ready!?" Before long, members of the press were bopping their heads in unison. The track is effective in showcasing the fact that Shinoda has flow, lyrics and straight rhyming ability, especially when it comes to storytelling. Before the hook, which goes on to lay out the percentage scale of what it takes to make it in the industry, Shinoda ends his first verse cleverly with, "Now everyone is giving him guest spots; shocked/When they heard he's f--king with S-Dot."

Moving on, Shinoda sports versatility with a cut entitled, "Petrified," which is a bass-heavy head-through-the-windshield offering, then slows it down a bit with the stirring "Where'd You Go" track, in which he expresses his sentiments to a certain female about her not being there.

"Right Now" featuring Black Thought from The Roots and Styles of Beyond, a group signed to Machine Shop, has Shinoda sporting his storytelling narrating strengths, while the overall track plays like a Linkin Park cut. Finally, "Believe Me" is another successful up-tempo offering that Linkin Park fans and hip-hop heads can enjoy.

Aside from the aforementioned features, the album also includes notable guest appearances by Common and John Legend. Although Jay-Z serves as overseeing executive producer, there are no plans for him, as of yet, to lay down a verse on the album.

"Jay is not performing on [the album]," Shinoda shared. "I did not want to put him in that position. I just wanted to have respect for his retirement to be honest, but he's executive producing the record and is with me every step of the way basically."

Shinoda also revealed that he played every instrument fans will hear on the impending album, except for the strings and the efforts from the recruited choir. In addition, he also produced all of the tracks. The five tracks heard are already a head start, but currently Shinoda and his team are in the process of cutting down 20 songs to 15 or 14 to make sure the sound set-forth is a breath of fresh air in the game.

"The reason why we started Linkin Park was because we were waiting for the sound to happen and it never happened," Shinoda explained with intent. "We decided to make it ourselves; that's how Fort Minor came about as well. I don't know how other people are going to take it, and that's fine because I'm not necessarily making it for them. First and foremost, it's for me and my fans and the people that's been waiting for something different. I love hip-hop and I love what that thing that everyone is doing, but at the same time I'd like there to be more variety."

The Rising Tied is yet to be completed, but according to Shinoda it will drop late summer.

Edited by Tristof
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