During a newly-released interview with Montreality, Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda detailed the moment he was approached by MTV about working with Jay Z. He revealed that the Brooklyn rapper was working on a show with the music network and was asked who he wanted to work with.
Shinoda says that Jay Z named Linkin Park as the group he wanted to collaborate with and upon being approached by MTV he quickly went to work on mashups by using an acapella version of Jay’s The Black Album.
The Agoura Hills, California musician recalled Jay Z and others being “floored” when they received the mashups he created for their joint EP, Collision Course.
“MTV reached out to Jay and said ‘We want to do a show,’” Mike Shinoda said. “They said ‘Who do you want to do it with?’ Jay said ‘I want to do it with Linkin Park.’ So, they reached out to us. And my first response back was basically to send music because he already had his Black Album acapellas available. So, I just grabbed his acapellas and I grabbed my—I think I had my MPC and my laptop on the bus. And I just threw together a few tracks. And I sent those back to him. I said ‘Yeah, we’d love to do it. And this is what it would sound like.’ And they were floored. They were so excited about it. His response back was ‘Oh shit.’ But the crazy thing was they didn’t actually know what they were even getting into with me because little did they know I actually—Mashups were what I grew up making. That’s how I learned to make beats. And how I learned to rap in the first place.”
In regards to releasing a project similar to Collision Course with Eminem, Shinoda revealed that he’d “be down” to work with the Detroit lyricist on such a project.
“I mean, the idea of collaborating with Eminem is something that’s—I’ve thought of it before,” he said. “Eminem’s great. I grew up on Em. Actually, the funny thing is I’ve known about Eminem since before he was ever even signed…Em was doing shows at like The Roxy for 300 people in L.A. coming on stage on drugs and stuff and just falling onto the stage. And he’d pick up the mic and go crazy. And peopled loved it. I loved it. He’s always been so great. With that said I think he’s great. If the opportunity ever arose I would definitely—Even if it was a thing where we just did the music and he just did his vocals like I’d be down with that. There’s no competitive thing in it for me. I just think he’s talented and I’d be down to do something.”
As a member of the Hip Hop group Fort Minor, Shinoda was asked what his thoughts are on the current state of Hip Hop. He applauded the genre for being able to break barriers, but also criticized those who put out the same material as everyone else.
“One thing that’s working for Hip Hop right now is that a lot of the barriers to entry are broken down,” Shinoda said. “A lot of the barriers between genres and location…I think all that stuff is kinda like—Maybe not passé, but it’s not as important as it used to be…When all you’re writing about is the same old shit that everybody else is writing about I think that’s pretty—That’s not advancing anything, you know? At the same time, ‘Oh okay, I don’t wanna hear a hundred songs about the same thing.’ But then some people write songs about the same thing and it’s amazing. I’ve heard Pusha T do songs about shit that normally I would be bored to death by, but the way he does it is great.”
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