Alicia Keys Trots Out ‘Empire State Of Mind (Part II)’

Robbie Daw | November 18, 2009 3:49 pm

If you noted the inclusion of “Empire State Of Mind (Part II)” on Alicia Keys’ The Element Of Freedom tracklist with a roll of the eyes, consider this: it appears to be much more than a retread. The version she performed for iHeartRadio’s Stripped Live yesterday, at least, represented a fully distinct song, save that ubiquitous hook.

Catch Alicia performing “Empire State Of Mind (Part II)” following the jump.

First impression? Her “sequel” actually manages to create some more anthemic points than did the Jay-Z original—but of course this is Stripped Live, so the jury’s still out on how the final version will sound.

Meanwhile, Alicia’s currently celebrating the fact that Hova’s original “Empire State Of Mind” on which she appears has finally climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Now, not to rain on anyone’s parade, but we’re sort of digging ESOM II a whole lot more than I.

So far now Keys is two for three with The Element Of Freedom—it’s also a “yay” for “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart,” but a “nay” for snoozy first single “Doesn’t Mean Anything.”