Sunday Song Lyric:
I was surprised and impressed by the debut album of Fort Minor (aka Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda), The Rising Tied. The album has the obligatoy unrepresentative single ("Where'd You Go"), highlight-reel track ("Remember the Name"), and rejoinders to critics ("Get Me Gone", "High Road"). Shawn Carter served as executive producer, and there are guest spots from Styles of Beyond, Black Thought, and Jon Legend, among others. Shinoda is anything but the best rapper, as the Linkin Park/Jay-Z collaboration Collision Course amply demonstrated, but he is a skilled emcee, producer, and songwriter, and the The Rising Tied includes social commentary and spots of lyrical depth that were quite unexpected given Shinoda's work with Linkin Park.

From "Right Now":

Somebody right now is dropping his vote
Inside a box and trying not to get shot in his throat
For the act of freedom
Right now, somebody's stuck in Iraq
Hoping that he gets shipped back breathing
In a war but he's not really sure the reasons
So we show our support when the press mislead him
Though we mourn, remain proud, Salute the troops
Get some, I know you boys got some work to do

Meanwhile, right now someone's 25-to-life-ing
Standing on a corner with their thumb up hitchhiking
Scratching off a lotto ticket hoping for a real winner
sneaking through the border just to work and eat a real dinner
Right now someone wishes they were you and I
Instead of second-guessing fatal thoughts of quiet suicide
But right now I'm staring out the window at a fiend
With holes in his arm and holes in his jeans
He pulled out a cigarette and sparked a light
And walked right around the corner just out of my sight
From "Cigarettes":
Lemme tell you something that I realized tonight
My hip hop radio's like Marlboro Light
They're both selling stories
And they sound abot the same
Cigarettes say the're safe
Rappers claim they really bang
We don't care if it's true when we lay the money down
We don't believe the words
We just love the way they sound
They're acting like we're idiots
They're lying to our face
Maybe we are idiots
We buy it anyway
I'm running out to get the next rapper's CD
Just sucking up the guns, drugs and misogyny
The same way that I suck up all the stories when I breathe
That little bit of death supposedly cancer free
And everything they say's got the truth twisted up
But twisted up's what I want
Man, I can't get enough
'Cause even though we know it's all just a big bluff
We just light another up
What we don't give a f**k
Perhaps the most surprising, and poignant, part fo the album is "Kenji," Shinoda's retelling of the history of Japanese internement, complete with samples from interviews with his father and aunt about their experiences.
they gave Ken a couple of days
To get his whole life packed into two bags
Just two bags
He couldn't even pack his clothes
And some folks didn't even have a suitcase
to pack anything in
so two trash bags is all they gave them
And when the kids asked mom
Where are we going
Nobody even knew what to say to them
Ken didn't want to lie
He said the US is looking for spies
So we have to live in a place called Manzanar
Where a lot of Japanese people are . . .

Now the names have been changed but the story's true
My family was locked up back in '42
My family was there
Where it was dark and damp
And they called it an "internment camp."
Whether or not Shinoda gets all of his particulars correct (I'll defer to Eric Muller on that), the track is a welcome addition to a worthwhile album.