If there’s one thing that Ghostbusters taught us it’s that New Yorkers love their city. Am I right? And Sinatra’s New York, New York might have a little competition as the city’s anthem if this collab between Jay-Z and Alicia Keys has its way.
I first heard this track on the MTV EMAs, and it didn’t initially make much of an impression. However, after some repeat listens the irresistable chorus was lasered into my brain. You find yourself running around sporadically yelling “Noo Yawk! The concrete jungle where dreams are maaaade up! There’s nothing you caaan’t do.”
As a collaboration, it brings to mind that other hook-up from last year – Kanye and Estelle’s American Boy. Except of course, Empire State Of Mind is far more of an anthem. You can see folks waving lighters and mobile phones in the air to this track.
With the exception of the first verse (in which he becomes our NY tour guide), Jay-Z’s rapping falls into the gaps between choruses – it’s the piano-pounding and vocal belting from Keys that really impresses so that the architect of the track fades into the background somewhat.
Even so, it’s fascinating that Jay-Z can still pump out tracks like this so close to his fortieth birthday – at that age, most chart acts are becoming irrelevant, but Mr Carter is still charming the masses with his tunes.