Fort Minor

Grade: B+

The new solo album from Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, The Rising Tied, is mixed with truthful lyrics and a variety of tones, all combining into an experimental album searing for the right match of beats to words.

Executively produced by hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, Shinoda has collaborations with Common, John Legend and Holly Brook, to name a few.

The album has a lot of hate, strife and discouraging lyrics.

In “Get Me Gone,” Shinoda takes a shot at a guy who suggested he play keyboard instead of rapping in Linkin Park and at the critics who claimed the band was “manufactured” and didn’t write its own material.

Perhaps the track off of The Rising Tied that stood on its own the most was “Kenji.” During the almost four-minute song, Shinoda gives an account of a Japanese man and his family a couple weeks after Pearl Harbor – about how the family was forced out of their home and put into a camp.

At the end of the song, Shinoda reveals it was his family who went through what he described. “Kenji” is more than a great beat along with real lyrics.

The only issue with the album is the fact that the middle of the CD drags on to the point of dreary music intertwined with words making for sleepy harmonies. However, Shinoda proves he has a vast array of rapping abilities, and being produced by a name like Jay-Z can only help.