The earth stood still for a couple of minutes when word broke that Jay-Z's insanely anticipated The Blueprint 3 had leaked. The consensus was that after all of these years, Jay-Z is still hitting hard and four steps ahead of everyone in the game. Most rappers lose steam after their second or third album — to release an eleventh album that doesn't make you want to shoot yourself in the face, like this one, is unthinkable.
With that said, for me, the album was dry and slow. It had some highlights and "Empire State of Mind" was definitely one of them. My personal favorite cut from the album, the track features a Jay-Z full of hometown sentiment and soaring harmonies courtesy of the gosh-wow lovely Alicia Keys. Listen to it here: