Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys) – 2009
Last night I was sat down with the very two people Part 6 of this series is about. No, not Jay-Z and Alicia Keys! Sat with my Mum and Dad in the dining room, we were listening to my playlist of the 7 songs in this series; a cheerful laugh at Steps, my mum admitting that Dip It Low is a good song, a collective singalong of Take That. But by far the best reaction was for this song, Jay-Z’s biggest hit and most definitely one of the generation’s best songs.
It’s a song that will always remind me of my parents. Late 2009 when the song was released, I was ‘by myself’ in the house, that is to say that my brother was away at university while I still lived at home with my parents. We would often sit in the dining room for hours on end after tea (something we still do now) listening to music, talking about a wide variety of things. It’s something that we never really did when there were 4 of us and it’s how I think my Mum and Dad began to understand my music taste.
This song in particular was just perfect, it was the first song I was asked to put on both my Mum and Dad’s respective iPod’s, where it would be blasted on the way to work, in the car and while cooking. It became as synonymous with our house as Take That’s Circus album was, and always provided a similar reaction to Greatest Day. It always reminds me of those two years, being at home and just how lucky I was to get on with my parents as so many families don’t.
I don’t really have much else to say, it’s obvious why this song resonated with my family as I’m sure it has with people all all ages across the world. The fact this blog opened with a post about this topic, followed by our trip to New York itself is just another reason this song is important to me. I probably wouldn’t have started 808sandformulae when I did if it wasn’t for this song, and it’s incredible chorus.
Get ready for the final part of the series soon, which brings things to a close and looks ahead to the future of my ‘musical journey’.