19 Years Ago: Linkin Park Team With Jay-Z on ‘Collision Course' (2024)

It all started in February 2004 when a gifted producer who called himself Danger Mouse edited a seamless mash-up of Jay-Z’s The Black Album with The Beatles’ “White Album.” Though it was created for fun, The Grey Album quickly went viral and became an underground sensation. Danger Mouse went on to major success as a producer and rapper and his oddball mash-up attracted attention from major names in big places.

Seeing dollar signs, MTV decided to put together a mash-up series that involved some of the biggest bands working with the hottest rappers. One of the first people the network approached was Jay-Z, who liked the idea. When the network asked him who he’d want to work with he answered, “Linkin Park.”

Jay-Z’s manager contacted the band, which was excited at the idea of working with the hip-hop entrepreneur. Nine months later, the two artists released the six-track EP Collision Course, which explored the creative possibilities of mashing up metal and rap.

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

At the time, Linkin Park were on tour, and Shinoda had a laptop and some recording software in the back lounge of the bus. Using a cupulas and instrumentals he downloaded from the web, he worked around the clock and recorded demos for three of the mash-ups in less the two days. Then, he sent the files of the tracks to Jay-Z. When the rapper heard them, he picked up his cell phone and texted Shinoda, “Oh, sh*t!” From there, it was on.

“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.”

When the project was originally proposed, no one realized that it put Shinoda right in his comfort zone. Back before Linkin Park formed, the rapper and vocalist 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.”

Collision Course, which came out Nov. 30, 2004 featured major chunks 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 exchanged files of ideas for the songs. Deciding they wanted the EP to feature new vocal takes instead of the ones on the already-released albums, Shinoda, Bennington and Jay-Z recorded their parts for the EP between July 16 and 19, 2004.

MTV, which was involved with the project along with Warner Bros., Machine Shop, Roc-A-Fella, Warner Bros and Def Jam, didn’t end up doing the mash-up series they had pitched. Instead, on Nov. 10, 2004, they aired MTV: Ultimate Mash-Ups: Jay Z vs. Linkin Park, which documented the creation of the project. A DVD that accompanied Collision Course, featured the MTV program, a documentary about the July 18 Linkin Park/Jay-Z concert at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood and performances of all six songs on the EP.

While Jay-Z had collaborated with The Roots and R. Kelly and Linkin Park had worked with members of Staind, Orgy, X-Ecutioners, Deftones, Korn, Pharoahe Monch, KutMasta Kurt and others on their 2002 remix album Reanimation, Collision Course marked the first musical meeting between LP and Jay and both rock and rap fans responded to the inventive mash-ups they created. Collision Course entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 and the single “Numb/Encore” won “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

Linkin Park & Jay-Z, "Numb / Encore"

Jay-Z, who had supposedly entered performance retirement, took the stage with Linkin Park at the Grammys to perform the Grammy-winning track. To pay tribute to Danger Mouse’s Grey Album and bring the project full-circle, they invited Paul McCartney to perform with them. The former Beatle accepted and Bennington and McCartney sang segments of The Beatles’ “Yesterday” while Jay interjected with “that’s right,’ “uh-huh,” and “yesterday.” For the appearance, Jay-Z wore a white suit with a black T-Shirt that depicted John Lennon and Bennington looked sharp in a jacket, slacks and white collared shirt.

Linkin Park / Jay-Z & Paul McCartney at the Grammys

Collision Course went platinum on July 19, 2005 and was registered double platinum by the RIAA on Aug. 15, 2017. While Jay-Z and Linkin Park haven’t worked together since, Jay was the executive producer of the album by Shinoda’s side project Fort Minor, of The Rising Tied, which came out in 2015.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author ofRaising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends,co-author ofLouder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography,I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography,Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensenand the Agnostic Front bookMy Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

SeeHybrid Theory in the 20 Biggest Selling Hard Rock + Metal Albums in the U.S.

19 Years Ago: Linkin Park Team With Jay-Z on ‘Collision Course' (2024)


19 Years Ago: Linkin Park Team With Jay-Z on ‘Collision Course'? ›

Collision Course, which came out Nov. 30, 2004 featured major chunks 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.

When did Linkin Park and Jay-Z collab? ›

Collision Course is a collaborative EP from American rapper Jay-Z and rock band Linkin Park, released on November 30, 2004, by Roc-A-Fella, Machine Shop, Warner Bros. and Def Jam. From Linkin Park's catalog, Collision Course features three songs from Meteora and four from Hybrid Theory.

Who did Linkin Park collab with? ›

The X-Ecutioners and Linkin Park

Before Linkin Park joined forces with Jay-Z in 2004, the nu-metal legends teamed with American turntablist group The X-Ecutioners to bring us the 2002 single "It's Goin' Down."

What song did Jay-Z do with Linkin Park? ›

"Numb/Encore" is a song by American rapper Jay-Z and rock band Linkin Park from their EP Collision Course (2004).

Were Jay-Z and Chester Bennington friends? ›

When on the promotional tour for his album 4: 44 in September 2017, Jay-Z stopped by the UK's BBC Radio 1 for an interview and a performance in the Live Lounge, and it was during his performance that he paid tribute to his late friend Chester Bennington.

Who did Linkin Park tour with in 2000? ›

Kings Of The Game Tour 2000
End:November 25, 2000
Number of shows:15
Supporting acts:(hed)p.e., Project 86
Opening for:P.O.D.
6 more rows

When did Linkin Park break up? ›

Linkin Park went on an indefinite hiatus following the suicide of longtime lead vocalist Bennington in July 2017 and have not recorded or toured since then.

What caused Chester Bennington's death? ›

Death. On July 20, 2017, at the age of 41, Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. His death was ruled as suicide by hanging. After Bennington's death, Linkin Park canceled the rest of their One More Light World Tour and refunded tickets.

What was Linkin Park's last song before he died? ›

"Talking to Myself" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. The song is the second single from their seventh studio album, One More Light and was released on July 25, 2017. The music video was released on July 20, 2017, the same day that Linkin Park's lead vocalist, Chester Bennington, was found dead by suicide.

Who did Linkin Park first tour with? ›

Linkin Park began 2000 with a few shows here and there, mostly playing to hometown crowds in the Los Angeles area. They embarked on their first tour ever, opening for Union Underground on their An Education In Rebellion tour in July. The tour lasted until mid August, with the band playing a few one-offs still touring.

How many #1 songs did Linkin Park have? ›

The band has produced eleven number-one singles on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, and is the second-ever act to have at least ten weeks with three or more tracks on that chart. Two of these singles, "Crawling" and "Numb/Encore", earned the band two Grammy Awards.

Who used to rap for Linkin Park? ›

Fort Minor was a hip hop side project by American musician Mike Shinoda, who is better known as the rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, producer, and rapper of the rock band Linkin Park. The project's only album, The Rising Tied, was released in 2005.

What did Jay-Z say when Chester died? ›

Jay-Z paid tribute to Chester Bennington during a visit to the BBC's Live Lounge. Jay-Z reflected on the tragic death of his former collaborator, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, and the need to address mental health issues in a BBC Radio 1 interview. “Hopefully his death serves as a wake-up call,” Jay-Z said.

Did Mike Shinoda like Chester Bennington? ›

"I spent more time with Chester than anyone else in my adult life, except for my wife." Linkin Park multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mike Shinoda recently paid tribute to deceased vocalist Chester Bennington in the form of a star-studded tribute show.

Who did Chester Bennington leave his money to? ›

The Linkin Park rocker, who tragically took his own life in July, left his retirement account for Talinda and his remaining assets will be divided between his six children via the Chester and Talinda Bennington Family Trust, which was created in 2007 and amended in 2009, according to the will documents obtained by TMZ.

Did Eminem and Linkin Park ever collaborate? ›

Although both Linkin Park and Eminem are very successful and well-known musicians, as of the deadline in January 2022, they had not worked together on any significant projects. There could be a number of causes for this: Musical Taste: Linkin Park and Eminem have distinct musical tastes.

What year did Linkin Park come out? ›

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park rose to international fame with their debut studio album, Hybrid Theory (2000), which became certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

When did Numb by Linkin Park come out? ›

"Numb" is the thirteenth and final track on Linkin Park's sophom*ore album Meteora. It was released as the album's third single on September 8, 2003, and quickly became one of Linkin Park's top singles.

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