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Collision Course

From Linkinpedia
Collision Course
Remix EP by Linkin Park & Jay-Z
Released:November 30, 2004
Producer:Linkin Park, Jay-Z
Label:Warner Bros., Machine Shop, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Linkin Park remix album chronology
Reanimation (2002) Collision Course (2004) Recharged (2013)


In 2004, MTV was searching for a collaborative mashup between two bands / artists. When they contacted Jay-Z, he said he was interested in working with Linkin Park. Describing the process, Mike said, "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 idea for Collision Course was partially inspired by a mashup made by a DJ who went by the handle "al-b3" (his website is no longer around, unfortunately). He created three LP/Jay-Z mashups in early 2004 - "Don't Stay" vs. "99 Problems", and two versions of "99 Steps Klosr" ("One Step Closer" vs. "99 Problems", one version had Jonathan Davis' verse from 1stp Klosr in it, one didn't). "99 Steps Klosr" gained enough attention to receive airplay on numerous radio stations, and many people thought it was an official remix (or after Collision Course came out, many people thought it was a Collision Course demo).

There is a May 19, 2004 internal WBR demo with these tracks by DJ al-b3, and it can be assumed work by the band (or at least Mike) began around this time.

From al-b3's website: "8-9-04. Ok a lot of stuff has happened in the last month but, most importantly, LINKIN PARK & JAY-Z PLAYED TOGETHER! I'm going to take a wild guess and say that I think they hooked up because of all the attention "99 Steps Klosr" has been getting. If that is the reason then I want to say Thanks to all the fans of My Mash Up and all the Radio Stations that played it! You guys really made it all possible (WOW I sound so korny, but I mean it)."

Mike in December 2004 said, "To me, Collision Course is a landmark album, because it’s a first: two multi-platinum artists getting together, using their original masters and new performances and production to create an album of mash-ups – that’s something that has never been done before. I think Jay-Z is an exceptional artist; it was a real treat for me to be able to sit in the producer’s chair for this project."

Writing and Recording

In a March 2nd, 2004 LPU chat, Phoenix said, "PhoenixLP: We don't have any albums planned that would hold remixes, however there are some remixes in the works that may surface on the internet for some other projeks..." This could be the first soft reference to the project that fans had heard, but it was so vague no one knows for sure if Phoenix was talking about Collision Course. It is important to note that in summer 2003, the previous summer, Linkin Park said that they had several Meteora remixes remixed, so Phoenix could be referencing those. However, it can be logically assumed that MTV and Jay-Z approached Linkin Park very early in 2004 due to the internal WBR dating from May 2004.

Mike started work himself in early 2004, emailing demos back-and-forth with Jay-Z before the studio time was booked in early July at NRG. Mike and Linkin Park worked by themselves before Jay-Z came in, and together they re-recorded parts of several songs. Initially planned as two remixes and a freestyle "sort of thing", the project was fleshed out into six full remixes.

Shinoda explains, "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." The project came together in four days in the studio.

In response to a question about if they recorded any new material, Mike said, "Nope, but we did have some fun in the studio with some freestyling. Not on tape—that was the only time the tapes and cameras got turned off. All I have to say is that Jay is one of the best rappers of all time, and if you had been there that night, you'd know why."

The Collision Course DVD shows some behind-the-scenes footage of what was actually re-recorded for the album.

On Dirt Off Your Shoulders/Lying From You, Mike re-recorded his Lying From You verses and Chester recorded some backing vocals. On Big Pimpin/Papercut, Mike's Papercut verse and the song's chorus were re-recorded. For Jigga What/Faint, Mike re-recorded his Faint verses and Jay-Z rerecord at least one of his verses, as evidenced by the DVD. On Izzo/In The End, Mike's In The End verse was re-recorded along with extra backing vocals by Chester. And finally, on Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer, Mike recorded the first verse of 99 Problems that he raps during the song. At the minimal, Rob and Phoenix at least had to re-record parts of certain songs, specifically the bass on Numb/Encore.

After the album was completed, the band and their engineers shut their computers down before Jay-Z went into the vocal booth and rapped a full, long freestyle off the top of his head. Mike mentions this on the DVD.


Track Listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You Carter Shawn, Mosley Timothy, Bennington Chester Charles, Bourdon Robert G, Delson Brad, Farrell David, Hahn Joseph, Shinoda Mike 4:04
2 Big Pimpin'/Papercut J. Capeless, T. Mosley, K. Joshua, Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 2:36
3 Jigga What/Faint Carter, Burks Jonathan, Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Farrell, Hahn, Shinoda 3:31
4 Numb/Encore West Kanye, Carter, Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Farrell, Hahn, Shinoda 3:25
5 Izzo/In The End Carter, West, Gordy Berry, A. Mizell F. Perren D. Richards, Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 2:44
6 Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer Carter, Rubin Frederick, N. Landsberg, Pappalardi Felix, J. Ventura, L. Weinstein, Squier William, T. Marrow, A. Henderson, Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 4:55


Music Videos

Only one music video was released from Collision Course, a live video of Numb/Encore. Directed by Joe DeMaio and Kimo Proudfoot, the video simply uses portions of both takes of the song from The Roxy show in July 2004 and some footage from the DVD, shown in black and white.





Live Performance

Information about the collaboration did not come until after the performance. According to the Collision Course DVD, Linkin Park asked their fans on the LPU message boards what other types of music they enjoyed. If they said hip hop, rap, and/or Jay-Z, they invited them. Around 100 fans were invited to a special album performance and DVD filming on July 19th, 2004 at The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA. Brad posted a message in one of the threads saying that the show will be made available for the fans in some format in the near future. "Looks like MTV has got wind of the Mash-Up's trend. We heard that Jigga and Linkin Park did a recent performance where they rock jams like "Big Pimpin," "99 Problems," "Encore," and others. Of course, the Park got to rock too. For y'all that don't know, a Mash-Up is just a mix of two very different types of music. So, wasn't an 80's Run DMC mashing it up when they resurrected Aerosmith from the dungeons of rock hell? Cypress Hill's Muggs has a Mash Up's album coming, but he better hurry up!"

Here are a couple of reviews posted on the LPU message board:

snoop23 - "That show was awesome!!!!! When everyone gets to see it on TV you are all going to flip! They actually had to do half of the show over again cause MTv guys messed up the lighting or something! So we all got to see LP and Jay-Z do half of the show all over again! I can't wait to see the show on MTV because it was such a rocking show. They played such great remixes and Mr. Hahn you kicked ass!!!! You mixed so good last night with LP and Jay-Z's stuff that it just flowed so well. Lp played some of their tunes from HT-EP which was so cool cause they mixed it up with Jay-Z!!!! They played all their great hits and just made the whole show by mixing it all up!!" HIghVoltage12 - "Last night was something I will NEVER forget! Absolutely hands down the best part was when Mike said the MTV lighting guys messed up and they had to do half the show over again! Then seeing Brad and Chaz mess up was pretty funny"

The performance at The Roxy came directly in the middle of a massive summer for Linkin Park. With Lying From You charting on the worldwide radio unexpectedly and forcing Linkin Park to release a live music video from Live In Texas for it, plus very successful tours in Europe and Asia, and a large Projekt Revolution Tour coming up, and finally with the release of the Breaking The Habit single, music video, and manga, Linkin Park was all over the news so it's not very surprising that the Collision Course performance sort of slipped under the radar for a little while.

For the show, Linkin Park began with a five song warmup, which included Don't Stay, Somewhere I Belong, Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down, Breaking The Habit, and From The Inside. After From The Inside, the band took a short break before Mike said, "Boy, do we have a surprise for you. Play that shit!" and launched into the Collision Course performance. Due to the lighting not being right for the performance, Linkin Park and Jay-Z actually had to play the entire album a second time. The second take of the Collision Course songs were released on the DVD, but the Numb/Encore live music video features clips from both takes of the song. It's Goin' Down from the medley was used as the MTV Ultimate Mashups intro for the TV showing and DVD bonus.

Social media was nowhere near what it is now, so fans discussed the appearance on the Linkin Park message boards, but the music world wasn't really afloat with news of the performance at first. A late July 2004 article of Rolling Stone had a brief mention of it, "A month after joining Phish onstage in Brooklyn, Jay-Z hooked up with Linkin Park at L.A.'s Roxy for the pilot of MTV's Mashups, slated for the fall. Jigg and the rockers combined Jay's rhymes with Linkin Park's music, or vice versa. "Every time we flipped a part, the crowd lost their minds," says Mike Shinoda. "We did 'Big Pimpin with our song 'Papercut.' And 'Encore/Numb' sounded amazing.""

The album was officially announced in mid October 2004 along with information on the first single, Numb/Encore.

Songs Played Live

  • "Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You"
  • "Big Pimpin'/Papercut"
  • "Jigga What/Faint"
  • "Numb/Encore"
  • "Izzo/In The End"
  • "Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer"


Critical Reception

Chart Performance


Numb/Encore from the album won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

In addition to winning, Linkin Park made their first live appearance during the show since July 2005's Live 8 show and first of 2006. They performed Numb/Encore with Jay-Z and additionally, Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance near the end of the song when the song was mashed up with Yesterday by The Beatles.



The album has been performed in full at two separate occasions. The first was a run through of the album twice at The Roxy in July 2004 and the second was for the Music For Relief 2005 Benefit show in Anaheim, CA. Jay-Z has joined Linkin Park four other times (Holmdel 2004, Live 8 2005, New York City 2008, and Milton Keynes 2008) to perform various songs off of the album.

Before Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You, you can hear Chester jokingly say, "I ordered a frappuccino, where's my fucking frappuccino?"

Parts of the vocal samples in Sold My Soul To Yo Mama from the LP Underground 4.0 CD came from these sessions.

Mike mixed the live audio on the DVD.

External Links