The Rising Tied
The Rising Tied is the debut effort from Fort Minor, the side project from Linkin Park leader Mike Shinoda. Shinoda intended the album as an outlet for his interest in hip-hop, which couldn’t always be adequately expressed within Linkin Park. Working with Jay-Z on 2004’s Collision Course album gave Shinoda the perfect in to pursue Fort Minor, which Jay-Z executive-produced. While Sean Carter himself doesn’t make an appearance, many heavy hitters do, including Common, John Legend and Black Thought. “Petrified,” “Kenji” and “Slip Out the Back” touch on the volcanic emotion of Linkin Park, but the best songs on The Rising Tied are the collaborations with underground rap crew Styles of Beyond, personal friends of Shinoda’s from way back. “Feel Like Home,” “Back Home” and “Believe Me” hold hip-hop bounce, hard-rock intensity, and storytelling virtuosity in easy balance. However, the song that best defines Shinoda’s aesthetic is “Right Now” where over a tensely layered beat Shinoda sketches a panoramic view of struggle and worry that extends from the inner-city projects to the suburbs and onto the battlefields of Iraq.