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Remixed: Empire State of Mind

November 16, 2009

jayz-aliciakeys-empire-state-of-mind-video-shoot-1When Nas said “Represent”, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys listened

Last week, Jesse blogged about Toronto rapper, Ron D., and his localized take on Jay-Z’s anthem “Empire State of Mind.” Call it copycat or creative,  “Toronto Part 2” is just one in a litany of territorial renderings of Jigga’s love ditty that I found on Youtube (and, via the Real Freqs, Snoop reminding us you can’t spell the West with out the E-S). Ranging from meticulous to sloppy, from Texas to England, the covers are an emblem of Jay-Z’s influence on rap. But they also show a thriving side of regionalism and underscore just how the idea of a storied NYC stands in hip-hop’s history. It’s kind of beautiful that people are as fervent about their cities as Jay is about the Empire State. Check out some of my favourites after the jump.

L.A. emcee Trenseta goes in referencing Ice Cube, classic sports teams and neighbourhoods that sound familiar even if you’ve never set foot in Cali.

Sly Polaroid and Kaye Foxe offer a well-produced effort. Anyone who name drops Bobby Fischer is good in my books.

Philladelphian Neeko extends the Pennsylvania reference with a Warhol-inspired video. It’s like  dropping by the Illadelph and saying what up to The Roots, Jazzy Jeff, Peedi Peedi, Freeway, even Beans!

Points go to London’s Kasha for getting political with it. Check the hook. Dope!

Rather than a particular city, Flomaticc is all about Texas. Instead of getting lost in local obscurities you’re able to get a feel for his flow (which, at times, sounds kinda Weezy-esque).

BONUS: Toronto is bursting with talent. Levar Allen gives Ron D. a run for his money with a stripped down, acoustic DIY.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink*
    November 16, 2009 4:27 pm

    Something about rappers with an English accent always throws me off. I think it’s mostly that I expect everything an English person says to be grammatically proper for completely stereotypical and irrational reasons.

    The LA ones seems a bit odd. Isn’t that like having a DC comic celebrating what a great idea Spiderman is?

  2. Jesse permalink*
    November 17, 2009 9:13 am

    hahaha. The brits have the BEST hook though. “we work until the mortgage gets paid off / or until a bad back retires you”
    Then something about getting fired. Too funny. Least it’s real.

  3. Anupa permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:15 pm

    Yeah, I definitely find the London one the most intriguing for a combination of both of those reasons. I love UK rappers too; they always put a new spin on rap. It must have something to do with the way Brits speak.

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