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ninjacolin's avatar

Very curious what all you regular flutherites think of this hiphop song...

Asked by ninjacolin (14224points) February 20th, 2010

Give it a listen. It’s Empire State of Mind. – Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys

I’d like to know more about how you people see music.
Also very curious what New Yorkers feel about this one.

Considering the topic, the life of the artist, the quality of art, everything and anything..

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23 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

yea, especially all your regulars that i normally talk to. I humbly request everyone to write a brief review. :) it’d be interesting to gauge our differences on a single piece of music.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I don’t usually appreciate hip hop, and this is no exception. Musically it is horrid. Lyrically though, it is very optimistic and potentially inspiring for those needing a new start. I’m not familiar with the true nature of New York, but the song does a good job of talking it up.

jca's avatar

I live in NY not far from NYC and i think this is a great video and this is a great song. We hear this song and Alicia Keys’ version all the time on the radio. I may be somewhat prejudiced because I love Jay Z anyway. This song is inspiring and the video has great images of NYC. The song and video touch on many aspects of NYC such as Wall Street, Yankee Stadium, Time Square, Brooklyn, Bronx, helado carts – so many, too many to name. The song mentions “concrete jungle,” “bleed blue,” “Afrika Bambaata,” all things people in NYC hear about NYC. i think the song will be right up there with Sinatra’s song and Billy Joel’s song about New York. Anybody who likes slow songs should check out Alicia Keys’ version, which showcases her great voice.

jca's avatar

@johnpowell : thanks for the link – great as well.

absalom's avatar

I’m not a New Yorker but I’ve always thought this song was good. It was stuck in my head right before I clicked on this question, actually, and now I’m listening to it.

I don’t see how it’s musically “horrid”, but maybe I’m missing something.

chyna's avatar

Is this homework?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@absalom It is a matter of personal preference. I don’t like computerised drums, or rap vocals, and I just don’t find the music catchy until the Alicia Keys sections. But then many people don’t like my taste in music (a few examples might help you understand why it is poles apart from my taste). I think I have quite a diverse taste, but rap/hip hop is just something I can’t listen to unless it is really special.

Trillian's avatar

I’m not a rap fan either. I think the only thing that made the song worth listening to was the powerfully beautiful vocals of Alicia. The rest was just some guy flapping his hands constantly, which I find distracting and annoying. I know he was saying stuff about how great New York is, but I can’t hear it because of the hand movement.

jca's avatar

@Trillian: i’m a little confused by your last sentence. the hand movements were very loud?

Trillian's avatar

Loud in the sense that they overpower anything that he says with his mouth. Absolutely.

filmfann's avatar

I like the Alicia Keyes portion. I don’t care for the Jay-Z part.

but then again, I am a Fluther irregular

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Total narcissism on the part of what’s-his-fucking-name. Alicia Keys is hot, has a good voice, and seems to be singing about the city itself. The other… fuck him… he’s full of himself. Full of shit, too.

tentaclepuppy's avatar

I liked it. It managed to be rap that only sort-of-glorified-the-gangster-life, but also kind of classy and interesting. They certainly captured the range of interesting stuff that new york produces- from crack cocaine to giant buildings to beautiful art and interesting people.

The chorus hook was breathtaking- Keyes knows what she is doing.

Also liked the line about “The City that Never Sleeps, I oughta slip you an Ambien.”

I get unhappy with New York for being the prototypical big city, the pointed-to-example of urban life, because there are other great cities that don’t get that kind of publicity, but… there is something about it that is quite inspiring.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Interestingly, I like the Alicia Keys part less than the rapping, and I generally am not a fan of rap. I like the whole thing just fine when I’m drunk, but being sober at the moment I have to say I find Alicia’s part to be boring. It’s almost all one note! Jay-Z is always pretty clever with his lyrics, which I enjoy, but I wouldn’t want to own this song… I don’t like it enough to even bother to illegally download it. It’s good as compared to a lot of contemporary rap though.

The_Idler's avatar

the rappin was ok… for Jay-Z
and I hate the chorus, as the original has been over-played-to-death on the UK pop radio waves.

So many great rappers and hip-hop artists out there… and Jay-Z aint one of them.

{Switches back to Vivaldi}

pizzaman's avatar

I like it. Just NOT the rapping part.

mass_pike4's avatar

concrete jungles wet dreams are MADDDDEEEE OFFFF!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m so friggin’ SICK of this song, just on general overplayed principle. I hear it all over the place.

SamIAm's avatar

i’m a new yorker, living in california, and every time i hear this song here, it makes me happier than anything. it was played out before i left ny (early december) and now i don’t hear it as often and effen love it! i also like rap, and jay z, and alicia keys is pretty brilliant!

stardust's avatar

I really love this song. I’ve always wanted to live in NYC & this song brings about feelings of excitement.

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