4. Numb/Encore - Linkin Park and Jay-Z
Mashing up different samples together into a new project is nothing new for hip hop. As far back as the '80s, you had everyone from the Beastie Boys to Public Enemy chopping up samples to give some of their best tracks that little bit of extra energy. It was a different story in the '00s though, and Linkin Park managed to work alongside one of the biggest names in the rap game on Collision Course.
While it's easy to just chalk this up as a generic remix album, the beauty of mixing Jay's verses from the Black Album with Hybrid Theory's riffs was a match made in heaven. Though something like 99 Problems works well across the basic track of Points of Authority, the crowned jewel of this collaboration is the mashup of Numb and Encore, as Jay's verses come in at just the right moment. Since this is a song with Chester Bennington singing throughout, Jay takes over every time he goes for a high note without every feeling disjointed.
This wasn't just some fairweather thing that these guys did for a paycheck either. These guys came together as mutual fans of each other's work and wanted to see what they could learn from one another in the process. While rap and rock have been like oil and water a lot of the time, everyone in this project came away looking good. Jay Z got the chance to get on something a lot more raw and Linkin Park were able to pay respect to the beats that raised them. You can evolve all you want, but you can never truly forget where you come from.