When Jay-Z performed at the Yankees’ World Series victory parade, it definitely seemed like “Empire State of Mind” was the biggest song in the country. On Thursday (November 19), it became official: Jay-Z has his first #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hov had reached #1 before via cameos on Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker,” but none of the songs from his albums had ever made it. Earlier this year, “Run This Town” came close to the #1 spot, reaching as high as #2.
“Empire State of Mind” — which features Alicia Keys — became the blockbuster that broke through with very high-profile performances on the MTV Video Music Awards, game two of the Yankees/Phillies World Series and the aforementioned Bronx Bomber parade.
Jay said the record resonates with everyone, even if they aren’t from NYC, because of the underlying message. “Really, ‘Empire State of Mind’ is about inspiration, it’s about hope,” he reiterated in a statement Thursday. “I think that’s what connects with people.”
Earlier this week, Alicia Keys debuted “Empire State of Mind 2” at the PC Richard & Sons Theater in the Big Apple. “I’m gonna play this for you, different than you’ve ever heard,” she told the crowd.
“If I could make it here, I could make it anywhere, that’s what they say,” she sang. “Seeing my face in lights or my name in marquees all down Broadway/ Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams/ I’m from New York/ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of/ There’s nothing you can’t do.”