Jay-Z On His First Number 1 Single, Already (Village Voice cover story)

jay-z village voice cover
Gracing the cover of the NY Village Voice this week, there’s an interesting article inside examining the context of Jay-Z‘s first number one single, “Empire State Of Mind” – including how he almost chose Mary J Blige for the chorus before getting Alicia Keys on board.


Everyone loves Jay-Z—not just his friends. And so everyone wants a unique, time-specific version of him. “Empire State of Mind” is the closest we’ve come to consensus. He had to move forward, to go up. It’s hard to believe, a dozen solo albums and countless playlist staples later, but it’s true: This is his first #1 single. Now we have the quintessential Jay-Z song. It may not be the most lyrically penetrating or sonically progressive. It may not be the best. In fact, it isn’t. But what it does is unite: At some point this summer, the song was booming from every car in every state in the country.

Click to read “Jay-Z’s ‘Empire’ Strikes Back at Last” [Village Voice].

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