Collision Course is a CD/DVD set released on November 30, 2004 by rapper Jay-Z and rock band Linkin Park. It went to #1 on the Billboard 200 upon its release. As of August 2009, it has sold 1,934,000 copies in the United States alone. It has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.
Due to its short time length 21:18 with six tracks in total included on the disc, the release has been identified as an EP. All of the tracks included are mashups combining songs by both artists.
The DVD contains behind-the-scenes new footage of the making of the album, as well as the second take of all of the Collision Course songs at The Roxy Theatre on July 18, 2004. Also included are the five scenes from the concert shown on MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups and a picture gallery.
The first single released from the EP, "Numb/Encore", achieved great airplay on the charts, and stayed on 6 months after its release. "Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer" was also released to the radio in the US, but was never featured on the Billboard Charts - the videos for both that track and "Jigga What/Faint" were also seen on Kerrang! TV in the UK. "Izzo/In the End" was also heavily promoted on the official Linkin Park websites.
It is the second EP ever (after Alice in Chains' Jar of Flies in 1994) to top the Billboard Hot 200, going on to sell over 300,000 copies in its first week.
Background and production
Mike Shinoda revealed in his 2004 Grammy acceptance speech that he would be mashing up with Jay-Z for a record under MTV's Mash Ups show.
The network allowed Jay-Z to choose a group or artist for the mash-up. Jay contacted Shinoda, who began experimenting with mixing the tracks before sending some examples to him. As a result, Jay-Z began working with Shinoda through email.
The two decided that instead of combining the existing tracks for the live performance on MTV, they wanted to re-work and re-record parts of the songs to make them fit better. 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." Shinoda asked his bandmates to re-record instrumental and vocal tracks as well, and ultimately both parties decided they wanted to release the studio tracks. The entire album was put together within four days.
Sometimes, behind-the-scenes audio can be heard within the album, such as Jay-Z saying "You're wasting your talent, Randy!" before "Big Pimpin'/Papercut", or Shinoda saying "This is fun." before "Izzo/In the End".
Collision Course was the first album of Linkin Park that contained a Parental Advisory sticker, since most of Jay-Z's verses contain profanity (although Shinoda and Chester Bennington are also heard swearing in the album). This album was also made in an edited/censored version. Linkin Park wouldn't use profanities themselves until Minutes to Midnight in 2007.
A year after the release of Collision Course, Jay-Z was the executive producer on Mike Shinoda's solo effort Fort Minor's The Rising Tied. Also, the song "High Road" from the same record talks about how some critics negatively received Collision Course.
Critics were divided over Collision Course, with some praising the album, while others negatively received it.
David Jeffries of allmusic praised the album, calling it "awesomely fun". K.B. Tindal of HipHopDX also equally praised the album, saying that the project "will open a passageway for artists who want to dare to be different as well as those who want to work hard to maintain that difference." Steve Juon of RapReviews called the album "an experiment which bodes well since for the most part these two artists compliment each other."
Meanwhile, Raymond Fiore of Entertainment Weekly, gave a negative review of the album, saying that the pairing of Linkin Park and Jay-Z "comes off like a sanitized nonevent."
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