Empire State of Mind (4:38)

Cover of The Hits Collection, Volume 1

From The Hits Collection, Volume 1 and 2 other releases

“Empire State of Mind” is a song by hip hop artist Jay-Z, featuring guest vocals of R&B and soul singer-songwriter Alicia Keys. The song was released as the third single from Jay-Z’s eleventh studio album The Blueprint 3 on his Roc Nation label. The song is an anthemic ode to both artists’ native New York City, featuring a sample of “Love on a Two-Way Street” by The Moments. Jay-Z and Keys performed the song at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as the American Music Awards of 2009. It is also the plate music for New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, and it was used in the trailer for Sex and the City 2.

The single has been commercially successful in the United States. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Jay-Z’s first number-one single on the chart as a lead artist. “Empire State of Mind” reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart on October 4, 2009. The song also reached number 2 in the Irish Singles Chart on September 25, 2009 with no official release.

Alicia Keys has recorded an answer song to ‘Empire State of Mind’ titled ‘Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down’, it features on the album The Element of Freedom and has charted within the top 30 of the UK Singles Chart.

“Empire State of Mind” is an anthemic hip hop song with influences of electropop and orchestra pop. It features a sample of “Love on a Two-Way Street” by The Moments. The title is a reference to New York’s eponym “The Empire State”, and may also be a reference to Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”. Jay-Z’s former rival Nas also titled one of his songs “N.Y. State of Mind”. The song is an anthem to Jay-Z’s hometown, New York City.


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Yea, yea I'm out that Brooklyn, now I'm down in Tribeca
Right next to DeNiro, but I'll be hood forever
I'm the new Sinatra, and, since I made it here
I can make it anywhere, yea, they love me everywhere I used to cop in Harlem,

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • questioningu

    "yo-yo, I'm a Rappah" is my favorite hook from this song! Shit is so raw! [2] haha no seriously such a great song!

    6 May 1:14pm Reply
  • alefspfc


    27 Apr 4:41am Reply
  • niqart

    amazing vocals from Keys but Jay makes this song work :) [2]

    27 Mar 10:42pm Reply
  • LaysGuerrero

    Everytime I listen this song I miss NYC a little bit more. That city is everything and have my heart and soul!

    8 Dec 2014 Reply

    I want to move to New York, and when I do, this song will be playing on the plane ride there.

    28 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Sathg

    this song makes me want to go to New York :)

    16 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Tantalus0006

    "yo-yo, I'm a Rappah" is my favorite hook from this song! Shit is so raw!

    14 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Black-Cherry

    I like Keys Part II better, this is too "yo-yo, I'm a Rappah"!

    30 Sep 2013 Reply
  • regnierpinto


    3 Jun 2013 Reply
  • prime1128

    It's been almost SIX YEARS since I was last in NYC. This song makes me feel guilty. I need to get back there.

    18 Feb 2013 Reply
  • spacemonkey2977

    amazing vocals from Keys but Jay makes this song work :)

    2 Nov 2012 Reply
  • ElilWayne

    I think his best song.

    8 Sep 2012 Reply
  • ThirstLight


    26 Aug 2012 Reply
  • rapha_L

    jay z is hit or miss for me but this is a good song

    23 Jul 2012 Reply
  • munciewood

    I disagree with his statement about making the Yankee's hat more popular than a Yankee can. That's just false braggadocio.

    24 Mar 2012 Reply
  • kas1997

    Piano . <3

    1 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Fuck-Tha-Police

    jay-z has good rhymes, its really too bad he has 0 flow.

    1 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Pack95

    and people say jay-z fell off...this song is classic

    27 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Skywatcher

    Bad rapping, much? :/ Spoils an otherwise fantastic song, in my opinion.

    18 Oct 2011 Reply
  • MCNasirJones

    Future Classic. NY State Of Mind > Empire State Of Mind Both are dope though. NY State Of Mind was The 90s theme to New York This songs the 2000s Theme To New York

    8 Oct 2011 Reply
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