There are millions of reasons why hip-hop kingpin Jay-Z and rap-metal megaliths Linkin Park would want to team up, but not one which doesn't feature a picture of a former US president on the front. Although rap and rock have been crunched together with fascinating results in the past (most recently on Dangermouse's unlicensed Beatles/ Jay-Z hybrid, The Grey Album), this spin-off from MTV's Ultimate Mash-Ups series smacks of boardroom brainstorming, quite probably involving the phrase "brand synergy". On a musical level, nothing works. As existing songs are gracelessly shoehorned together (Encore with Numb, Big Pimpin' with Papercut), Jay-Z's bulletproof braggadocio finds no point of connection with Linkin Park's grumpy melodrama.
The exercise is never more pointless than on the new version of Jay-Z's 99 Problems, which was actually a perfectly good piece of rock-rap before Linkin Park got their hands on it. To add insult to injury, Collision Course is only 21 minutes long, thus calling to mind the old borscht-belt joke about two Jewish women in a restaurant: "This food is terrible!" "Yes, and such small portions!"