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