Jay Z and Linkin Park

This morning, in an effort to get myself out of my foul mood, in turned on MTV Hits (one of the half-dozen music video stations we get in our house). That ubiquitous Jay-Z/Linkin Park tune came on, the “mash-up” that combines Jay’s tune “Encore” with Link Park’s “Numb”. I want to like this song, I really do—which probably accounts for why I never change the channel or turn the dial when it comes on—but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t.

First, I like the idea that maybe music is just music in this instance, that the kids who like Jay might be exposed to something more melodic and “musical” and that the kids who dig Linkin Park might be exposed to what rap can be, if someone actually tries hard. I really like the idea that kids today seem much more open-minded about music than my generation ever did. There doesn’t seem to be as much division.

This could be because there is so little good music out there that the kids will take whatever they can get, from whatever genre they can get it from, but let’s remain a little optimistic here, okay?

What bothers me about the song is that it almost succeeds at what it’s trying to do. The chorus is fucking catchy as all hell. I can hear it in my head now, “Can I get a hardcore / Do you want more / Cookin raw with the Brooklyn boy / So for one last time I need y’all to roar”. But the Jay section and the Linkin Park section seem to have nothing to do with one another. There are great little parts of each, but I feel like it could’ve been blended just a little bit more.

And it might be that I’m not such a huge fan of Jay’s style. I think he’s an amazing cat, and I can see how much heart he puts into it, but his stuff is just not for me.

Anyway, I admire this song for what it’s trying to do. I just wish that it did it, that it really did it.