Mike Shinoda As Fort Minor
When Linkin Park hip-hop go-to-guy, Mike Shinoda, decided to delve into a part time rap project under the moniker Fort Minor, critics waved down his venture as a genre-bending gimmick. Armed with an arsenal of Hip Hop heavy-hitters like Common, Black Thought, Styles of Beyond, and executive-produced by the other Coach Carter, Jay-Z, Shinoda manages to freeze the genres finest moment without yielding to rap album stereotypes.
Fort Minor's Undeniable Passion
Mike's undeniable passion for hip-hop is evident throughout The Rising Tied. His indulgence in retro-rap flava is visible on the hit single, "Petrified." With its hard-hitting boom-bap soundclash, "Petrified" is the sonic equivalent of a chin-check. Not a surprise from an artist who's comfortably-seated on the opposite end of violent rap. In fact, he ridicules trite gangsterisms on "Cigarettes" (everyone exaggerates a tiny little bit, make that sh*t sound a lot more gangster than it really is).
The Rising Tied Is Well Balanced
Brief detours into preachy territories do little to hurt the social commentary of "Kenji," the dreamy exotica showcased on "Where'd You Go," and the motivational tone of "Higher Road," where John Legend rides shot-gun. The albums moment of bliss is, however, the conceptual "Right Now," where Black Thought leaves both Mike and his S.O.B. cronies in the dust.
The Bottom Line
The Rising Tied doesnt necessarily break any new grounds, but its loaded with melodies that tug and bang at the same time. Overall, Fort Minor comes across as fluent in the edgy rhetoric of hip-hop.Now that's major.