Filed under: Editor Picks, Releases of the Week | Tags: Alicia Keys, Editor's Picks, Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
“BK Anthem,” “Hello Brooklyn,” “Where I’m From,” “Brooklyn Go Hard” — if there’s one thing Jay can do, it’s shout out his favorite city. In fact, Jay’s NYC-related repertoire is so extensive, they should replace those tacky “I ♥ NY” shirts with “Jay ♥’s NY.”
I was close to completely disregarding The Blueprint 3, that is, until I heard “Empire State of Mind.” Unlike the Brooklyn odes of Hova’s past, “Empire State of Mind” is slightly less discriminating, including more sections of NYC other than Bed-Stuy, such as Harlem, TriBeCa, and Broadway.
Although Jay’s rhymes are often smug to say the least, he justifies his “confidence” with the line, “You can tell by my attitude that I’m most definitely from New York.” Alicia Keys’ vocal chords transform the repetitive chorus’s lyrics into a passionate, classy dedication. The hometown pride inherent in these two NYC natives seeps through every aspect of “Empire State of Mind,” from the name-dropping lyrics, to the jazz-tinged beat — this classy masterpiece easily overshadows the rest of The Blueprint 3.
— Carly Wolkoff, Managing Editor