Friday, November 6, 2009

"Empire State of Mind" . . . Loving Alicia Keys

Kwana recently posted the YouTube video of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performing their awesome duet "Empire State of Mind" live at the World Series final game the other night. It reminded me just how much love Alicia Keys. Listening to her sing, hearing her lyrics, feeling her music and the passion she puts into her songs simply sends chills up my spine every time. And yeah, she's even made me tear up a few times. Have you listened to---not just heard, but really listened to her 2007 hit single "Like You'll Never See Me Again"? And that's just the song. Be prepared to bawl if you watch the video. Okay, let's not go there.

Anyway . . . after watching and listening to the live performance YouTube video of "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in Yankee Stadium from the other night on Kwana's blog, I hopped over to YouTube in search of the official video for the song. I loved the song from the first time I heard it on the radio weeks ago and I turn it up every time. And every time Alicia Keys belts out that first "In New Yoorrrrrrk . . . " I get the chills. She moves me. She really does.

Having lived my whole life in the New Jersey suburbs of NYC, I think this song appeals to me not just because it features Alicia Keys, but also because it has a certain familiarity to it. I'm familiar with the beauty, magic, power, and also the sadness and tragedy the city holds. I wonder how this song moves people who have never been here before. Does it move them the same way? Do the lyrics and the images in the video seem foreign?

Alicia Keys has a new album coming out in December called The Element of Freedom (12.15.09). Her single "Doesn't Mean Anything" can be viewed at her official YouTube Channel HERE. She's such a beautiful talent.


  1. Thanks so much for the shoutout and for the official video. I think there is something to being and East Coast girl. I'm a native New Yorker so I've walked the streets in the song and been to many of the locals, breathed the air. I do think there may be a different feeling when you are from the place they are singing about. This song hits me in the gut and I'm a girl back on the A train every time.

  2. I'm with you and Kwana, Christine, it hits me also. It certainly captures the feel of the City, the atmosphere and I also love, love it! :) As you know, I live right across from the City on the Jersey side and I've worked and played there for most of my adult life. Thanks for sharing the videos. :)

  3. Hiya! New here, Loved the video. I'm not from a big city, just the rocky mountains in Utah, but the song and pictures in the video still move me. the way they talk about surviving growing up there on the streets and now they can survive anything I think resounds in the listeners and their own personal trials and triumphs. Not being from NY or a big city I still felt a sense of pride and camaraderie as I thought of familiar streets and spots of my own hometown when Jay-z talks about familiar streets in NY, I love the line

    "These streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you."

    *sigh* and yes Miss Keys is wonderful too :) I see your going to start Two for the Dough, I just started the Stephanie Plum series and am quite enjoying them, they're great light-hearted fun :) Thanks again for the video!

  4. Thanks for dropping by to see my post, Kwana. :)

    I can only imagine how much more deeply this song affects people like you who know and live and breathe the City even more than I do. There's an intensely powerful heart to this song--the lyrics, the artists' passion, and the images in the video as well.

    Hilcia, I just knew you'd see this and agree with my sentiments on the song and the video! I think I often take for granted that I live so close to one the world's greatest cities, and it's songs and videos like this that remind me of its grandness.

    Hi KikaLa! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely comment. First, I just have to tell you how much I LOVE Utah! I've vacationed there twice! Once in the winter for a ski vacation during which we stayed in Salt Lake City and drove to a different ski resort each day for a week, and again several years later in the summer during which we started out in Salt Lake City and visited a different State or National Park for over a week, ending in the Grand Canyon. OMG It was so amazing!! I want to go back so badly! :)

    I think you're absolutely right that people from all over can identify or at least relate to both the challenges and sometimes desperation that life in a big city can bring as well as the magic and inspiration. Those things are true no matter where you live.

    So cool that you've been reading the Stephanie Plum books, too! I only read the first one a month ago or so and really enjoyed it. How far into the series are you?

    Thanks again for visiting! :)

  5. haha Christine!
    Thankyou so much for stopping by my blog :) haha left you a comment there too, hope you like the rest of the series!...I'm not sure how far I'll get, I'm not the best with series that tend to go into the double digits, I usually taper off. haha but I'm enjoying them now and won't stop till I loose interest. Take care!

  6. Soon I'll be able to watch YouTube videos! And then I look forward to watching the video :)


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