Jay-Z/Linkin Park - Review Album

03.05.2008
Collision Course DVD/CD Machine Shop/Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/MTV/Warner

Jay-Z's career teaches us that to beat the industry at their own game, you have to treat it like a bank robbery: come out swinging, grab as much as you can and get out. Unlike banks, though, record companies don't have insurance to compensate customers when they get robbed. Most of the tracks on Unfinished Business, the second and assuredly final Jay-Z/R. Kelly collaboration, are like cameos recorded while waiting for the headliner to show up. Even with flops like "Big Chips," Business is almost worth rescuing from the delete bin for the bloopers, including Kelly's degrading turn on "Don't Let Me Die" or Jay's listless threats on "Stop" that he hasn't unpacked his suitcase yet. Stop, please. You've done enough.

As a parting gesture Jay one-ups Run-D.M.C./Aerosmith with Collision Course, a DVD featuring Linkin Park bowing and scraping to Hov like Wayne and Garth backstage with Alice Cooper. Linkin MC Mike Shinoda studio-mixes his band's confessional nü-metal with Jay-Z's braggadocio, then recreates the results live. Watching the band swoon with hearts a-flutter when Jay-Z walks into the rehearsal studio is entertaining, though the music mostly isn't: Shinoda's self-flagellation is embarrassing next to Jay's baller fables, while the concert buries them all under raging guitars. The Jay-Z songs suffer most, with the swagger of an "Izzo" or "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" undermined by the teen angst poetics of LP's "Numb" and "In the End." It's little more than a hip-hop karaoke session for the band and their fans, but who needs quality control when you've given two weeks notice? Best of luck, Jay. Don't let the door hit your ass on your way out. DAVE MORRIS

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