In November 2005, Linkin Park
co-founder Mike Shinoda debuted as a solo artist with Rising Tied, an ambitious collection credited to his alter ego, Fort Minor, that blended hip-hop with electronics and rock elements.
The set was exec-produced by Jay-Z
, who had previously collaborated with Shinoda and Linkin Park
on 2004's Collision Course. Tied also featured plenty of guests like Common
and John Legend
, as well as newer artists from Shinoda's Machine Shop imprint. The album was a labor of love for the Linkin Park
MC. Not only did he produce and mix it, but Shinoda played 99 percent of the instruments; did all the sequencing and programming; and wrote some very personal raps about his life, youth, and family. "Kenji" was a standout, exploring the experience of Japanese-American internees during World War II. The track featured recordings of Shinoda's relatives discussing their experiences in the camps. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi