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Single by Linkin Park & Jay-Z
from the album Collision Course
Recorded 2004
Released December 13, 2004
Format CD, Vinyl
Length 03:25
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 110
Key F# Minor
Live debut July 18, 2004
Last played August 29, 2008
Writer(s) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West
Producer(s) Linkin Park, Jay-Z
Label Warner Bros.
Linkin Park & Jay-Z singles chronology

Breaking The Habit (2004) Numb/Encore (2004) Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You (2004)

Collision Course track listing
  1. Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You
  2. Big Pimpin'/Papercut
  3. Jigga What/Faint
  4. Numb/Encore
  5. Izzo/In The End
  6. Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer


"Numb/Encore" is a mash-up between "Numb", from Linkin Park's Meteora, and "Encore", from Jay-Z's The Black Album.

In an interview with BallerStatus, Mike Shinoda revealed how the project came together: "MTV called Jay and told him their idea for the live show. They wanted to know who he would like to do it with, and he had his manager call us. I had a vision for what it would sound like, but I didn't think words could describe it, so I made some music. I sent him a CD with "Dirt Off Your Shoulder / Lying From You" and "Numb / Encore" on it. His reply was "Oh Shit!" Needless to say, we were off on the right foot."

The MTV performance spawned the idea to get into the studio with Jay-Z to re-perform the vocals, which, in the end, resulted in the Collision Course EP. Mike told MTV:

"I didn’t just want to say, ’Hell, yeah, let’s do it’ — I wanted to show him what it might sound like if we did it. And I think Jay was really excited by that. After that, he wanted to talk only by e-mail instead of in person because he thought that would save a little bit of the excitement for when we really got to meet.

Jay and I realized it’s better to re-perform the rap vocals if you’re gonna do it to a new beat because the vibe changes and you have to deliver your verse a little differently. There was no ego at all working with Jay. If I asked him to perform something a certain way or put a vocal line here or there, he was happy to do it. He’s really easy to work with.

The bottom line was we wanted to perform a show together, so [you might ask] why we would spend all that time in the studio. It’s because when you hear a song in its studio form and you’ve got a good-quality copy of the song, then you know how it should sound when you go play it live. If you just go jam it out, you might never know the potential of the quality you’re trying to achieve.

I think the songs are really strong, and it was totally exciting recording them. You can hear it on the tracks. There’s laughing going on and people telling jokes. We kept all those little things in there, so I think it’s something our fans would really enjoy."

Speaking about the process with BallerStatus, Mike said:

"As the producer, I was there the whole time, and got to plan everything and see everything unfold. I had Chester show up first, then the rest of the band and Jay. We hung out for a while, then a lot of people left to give Jay and me some space to get his parts solid. He's a really inspired person in the studio; personable and unassuming. But when he gets in front of that mic, he's completely comfortable — at home. I think we were all a little nervous to get started, but as soon as he got in that booth, it was over.

Jay can kill it over anything. It didn't take much to get things sounding good. The trick was to make sure everything we were doing sounded natural. There's a real trick and science to that, something a lot of people won't pick up on, but I know is there. Jay couldn't just scream along with Chester's parts, he had to perform it his way. It took us a few takes to get that right, but I made sure we got there.

I made sure to do most of my vocals before Jay got in, so that things sounded tight before he heard them, and so I didn't have to go after him! But you can imagine how I felt: I would have loved to go back into all my lyrics and make them more complex and really step it up, but I thought that would ruin what we were trying to accomplish with the mash-up, so I didn't. I know what I do with LP (Linkin Park) is less technical, but rooted in the emotion, in order for it to work with the rock element. The project did make me want to step up my game, though..."

Mike, in November 2004, explained to AllHipHop how "Numb/Encore" came together: "In every case, I adjusted the music to make the parts work together as one song. Every song is different, but here’s an example: with “Numb /Encore,” I started with the "Encore" accapella. I decided that the song of ours that best fit the tone of Jay’s lyrics was "Numb" I also just wanted to hear [Linkin Park’s] Chester singing the "What the hell are you waiting for" line! (Laughs) I then took the "Numb" instrumental and cut up some parts of it, and arranged them as a repeating pattern. I basically treated our instrumental as if it were a sample from a record, that I would cut up and replay in a different way, the way DJ Premier does. I built the rest of the track around that skeleton, adding the "Numb" keyboard hook, and new bass, piano, clean guitar, and drums. I did almost all of this work on my laptop in our bus, while we were on tour outside the U.S. seems like a lot of work for a mash-up, but I don’t do anything half-assed."[1]


In 2006, Linkin Park and Jay-Z were asked to perform together at the 48th Grammy Awards Show, but since they had already performed with Jay-Z a few times in the previous years, they decided to do something special for this particular performance. Brad Delson explained:

"The Grammys asked us to perform with Jay-Z since we were nominated for the mash-up, but since we already played together on some really high-profile stages with our MTV special and with Live 8, we wanted to do something really special that showcased the power of the mash-up. So we had this idea to do something with Paul, and when I went to Mike [Shinoda]’s house and we were listening to some of the older Beatles songs to see what would work best, ’Yesterday’ really popped its head up." Mike added, "This is getting into technicalities, but Jay’s verse is like a weird measure, like 18 bars, and the fact that ’Yesterday’ works with that weird number, we just looked at each other like, ’How did that happen?’" So Brad and Mike created a mashup and once they had it on tape, they took it to the rest of the band, Paul McCartney and Jay-Z.[2]

Danger Mouse's mash-up of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' White Album served as inspiration for the performance according to Chester Bennington. "We thought we'd try tie all those things together, and Sir Paul McCartney was gracious enough to cooperate. Playing with McCartney was "the most surreal, awesome experience of my life and probably of everyone on stage with me," he said.[3] "We wanted to nod to that and do something that incorporated a Beatles sound," said Rob Bourdon. "We could not believe it when he said he would actually do it."[4]

Paul McCartney, who had previously won 13 Grammys, performed at the event for the first time in his more than 40-year music career.[5] The performance took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 8, 2006 after McCartney sang a new song called "Fine Line" and the classic "Helter Skelter" with Foo Fighters.[6] Brad said, "On February 8th, the seven of us were joined onstage by Sir Paul McCartney, to mash together the Collision Course single with one of the Beatles' most classic songs, "Yesterday." "Yesternumb," or "Yesternumbencore," if you will, blended together three seemingly unrelated compositions into one remarkable whole. Most striking to me about this union is that it highlights the connection between these three songs, and, in fact, the interrelationship of all musical forms. And on a personal level, it was also incredibly fun. I'm compelled to report that Sir Paul is one of the most humble, gracious, affable people with whom we've had the privilege of collaborating."[7]

No studio version of the mash-up has ever been released.


CD Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Numb/Encore (Explicit) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:27
2 Numb/Encore (Instrumental) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:26

Vinyl Release

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Numb/Encore (Explicit) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:25
2 Numb/Encore (Radio Edit) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:25
3 Numb/Encore (Instrumental) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:27
4 Numb/Encore (A Capella) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:19
5 Numb/Encore (Radio Edit A Capella) Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 3:19
6 Bonus Beat Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Kanye West 1:42

Music Video


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Numb/Encore Collision Course


3:25 2004 November 30, 2004
  • Mash-up with Jay-Z.
Numb/Encore Collision Course (Clean)


3:25 2004 November 30, 2004
  • Labeled as "Numb/Encore (Radio Edit)" on the vinyl single.
  • Labeled as "Numb/Encore (Clean Version)" on the digital EP.
Numb/Encore (Bonus Beat) Numb/Encore 1:42 2004 December 13, 2004
Numb/Encore (Instrumental) Numb/Encore 3:27 2004 December 13, 2004
Numb/Encore (A Cappella) Numb/Encore 3:19 2004 December 13, 2004
  • Labeled as "Numb/Encore (A Capella Explicit)" on the vinyl single.
Numb/Encore (A Cappella) (Clean Version) Numb/Encore 3:19 2004 December 13, 2004
  • Labeled as "Numb/Encore (A Capella Radio Edit)" on the vinyl single.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Numb/Encore Collision Course July 18, 2004 November 30, 2004
  • Censored.
  • DVD only.
Numb/Encore Live 8 Sampler

Live 8 - One Day One Concert One World

3:37 July 02, 2005 November 4, 2005
  • Audio released on the Live 8 Sampler, video released on the official Live 8 DVD.
  • Listed as "Numb" on the sampler CD.
Numb/Encore (With Jay-Z) Road To Revolution: Live At Milton Keynes 3:01 June 29, 2008 November 21, 2008
  • "Encore" portion only.
  • Filmed at the National Bowl, Milton Keynes June 29, 2008.
Numb/Encore (With Jay-Z) Road To Revolution: Live At Milton Keynes (Clean) 3:01 June 29, 2008 November 21, 2008
  • Censored.
  • "Encore" portion only.
  • Filmed at the National Bowl, Milton Keynes June 29, 2008.
  • Despite the "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" warning on the Record Store Day vinyl, all copies are censored.
Numb (Live at Live 8, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 2nd July 2005) Live 8 (Live, July 2005) 4:06 July 02, 2005 May 28, 2019
  • "Numb/Encore".


"Numb/Encore" is the most performed song off of Collision Course. It debuted at the MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups event in West Hollywood, California, along with the rest of the Collision Course tracks. Linkin Park and Jay-Z had to play each of the album's tracks twice due to lighting messing up.

The song was also performed at both 2005 shows, as well. It featured a guitar intro at the Music For Relief: Rebuilding South Asia show and became the first song that wasn't "One Step Closer" (barring its Collision Course counterpart) to close a Linkin Park set at the Live 8 performance.

In February 2006, "Numb/Encore" won a Grammy Award and the band performed a special version of the song, mashing it up with "Yesterday" by Paul McCartney, who came out to sing that portion of the mashup with them. The "Numb/Encore/Yesterday" mashup has been referred to as "Yesternumb".

Fort Minor began to perform a shortened version of the song to open their encores starting on their 2006 U.S. Tour. The song was dropped when Fort Minor performed at Summer Sonic.

In 2008, the band performed an abridged version of "Numb/Encore" with Jay-Z at a few shows. Only half of the song was performed, dropping the "Numb" section of the song because the band played it earlier in the set. It opened the encore in New York City, New York as well as in Milton Keynes, England.

Throughout 2009 and 2011, Jay-Z would sporadically perform parts of "Numb/Encore" during his sets.

On the Honda Civic Tour 2012 during the Living Things touring cycle, the intro of the song was used as an extended outro to "Numb". At the beginning of the tour, only Mike sang the "What the hell are you waiting for?" part before Chester began singing it with him later on in the tour. This carried over to The Hunting Party tour, adding it as an extended intro part as well. On the St. Petersburg stop of that touring cycle, Mike began changing the lyric "Brooklyn boys" to "L.A. boys".

On Mike's solo tour, he rapped the chrous of the song over the outro and the intro of the piano version of "Numb" in Charolette and Manila, respectively.


Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Status
2005 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Collaboration Won
2005 International Dance Music Awards Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Collaboration Nominated
2006 Grammy Awards Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Won




In Other Media

  • "Numb/Encore" is featured in the 2006 film Miami Vice as well as its trailer.
  • "Numb/Encore" is featured in a trailer for the 2016 videogame Titanfall 2.[8]

Other Uses

  • This song was sampled by Nicki Minaj in the song "Encore '07" on the mixtape "Playtime Is Over" released in 2007.

External Links

  • Numb/Encore (Music Video) (Live) [Clean]: LPTV | MTV
  • Numb/Encore (with Jay-Z) (Milton Keynes 2008) - WMG