Thursday, September 24, 2009

Billboard Thursday: Jay-Z - "Empire State Of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)"

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I'm not going to lie: I haven't given The Blueprint III much of a chance. And when I saw that "Empire State Of Mind" had vaulted itself to #5 on the charts, I kind of rolled of my eyes and thought, "Really? I didn't know Alicia Keys still had that kind of mainstream pull." Then I listened to the song.

I don't know how I overlooked this gem. It's easily the best thing I've heard off the record, a piano-led monster that talks up the bravado of being from New York while at the same time holding this weird sense of melancholia at its core. I guess that could be considered a flaw, and it's probably the beat rather than the lyrics that brings this tinge of sadness to the proceedings, but still: it's epic in scope and doesn't disappoint in the least.

When people look back at The Blueprint III a few years from now, they're going to roll right past "Run This Town" and go straight to "Empire State Of Mind". It's got the kind of timelessness that has marked some of Jigga's best work. I'm unsure of where it'll actually fall on his hierarchy of singles, but for an album as disappointing as the one he just put out, this is a great, great song.

1 comment:

birdykins said...

I agree completely. It's a fantastic song. I've had it on repeat since the VMAs.