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Editor’s Pick #173: Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (Alicia Keys, Blueprint 3) by carlywolkoff
September 10, 2009, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, Releases of the Week | Tags: , , ,
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys pay homage to their favorite city in "Empire State of Mind"

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys pay homage to their favorite city in "Empire State of Mind."

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Jay-Z (feat. Alicia Keys) “Empire State of Mind” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 20 Watts Reviews Jay-Z’s 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


Though I do think “Empire State of Mind” is one of the best tracks on The Blueprint 3, I’ve got to go with “Already Home” as my number one. Kid Cudi and Jay should have started making music years ago, because the combo’s brilliant on this song.

Comment by johncassillo

[…] got photos and additional details for those so inclined.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #173: Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (Alicia Keys, Blueprint 3), 20 Watts Reviews Jay-Z's Blueprint […]

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