Jay-Z Remixes “Empire State of Mind” With Gil Scott-Heron Vocals
Inductee Jay-Z speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
JAY-Z has released new music with late spoken word poet and jazz vocalist Gil Scott-Heron. On Sunday (April 16), the Brooklynite dropped a remixed version of his 2009 hit “Empire State of Mind,” combined with Scott-Heron’s 2011 classic “New York is Killing Me.” The latter song appeared on Scott-Heron’s 2011 comeback album We’re New Here.
Titled “New York (Concept de Paris)” the song follows Hov’s special engagement at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris on Friday (April 14). The performance was in support of the Basquiat x Warhol. Painting Four Hands exhibition, also sponsored by Tiffany & Co.
Those in attendance at the Roc Nation founder’s concert were wife and longtime collaborator Beyoncé, their daughter Blue Ivy, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Jill Scott, and more. During the set, Hov ran through select hits like “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “Can I Live,” along with the new version of “Empire State of Mind.” The engagement makes Jay-Z’s latest solo performance since 2017’s 4:44 Tour.
Jay-Z Performing “****** In Paris” At Louis Vuitton Foundation
In Paris Today👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/aB2LdUOYqX
— Rap301 (@Rap301_) April 14, 2023
Beyoncé and Blue Ivy at Jay-Z’s performance in Paris 🤍
— Beyoncé Press. | Fan Account (@beyoncepress) April 14, 2023
The rapper last performed his coveted “God Did” verse at the 2023 Grammys.
“I thought about it, I was in my head and I just broke down and said, ‘You know, it’s a four-minute verse.’ Again, for the culture, for Hip Hop, we got to do that,” he told TIDAL ahead of the performance. “This ain’t your traditional song. … It’s not your traditional structure of what you think a song that would be nominated for Song of the Year would sound like. It’s not what you expect. And for the culture and for Hip Hop, we got to do that.”
He added, “We owe that. This thing that changed our lives. We got to do that. A four-minute verse performed at the Grammys. We owe it to the culture, and it ain’t even a burden. It’s a blessing. It’s easy and fun.”