JAY-Z Drops Remix of “Empire State of Mind” Featuring Gil Scott-Heron: Stream
JAY-Z has released a new version of “Empire State of Mind” mashed up with Gil Scott-Heron’s “New York Is Killing Me.” The track, entitled “New York (Concept de Paris),” dropped after the Brooklyn rapper debuted it during a rare public performance on Friday.
Taking the verses from Hov’s 2009 classic and vocals and other samples from Scott-Heron’s 2010 cult favorite, “New York (Concept de Paris)” paints both songs in a new light, creating a synthesis of the two which is evocative of the complicated city it’s honoring. Listen to it below, followed by the original tracks.
JAY-Z debuted the remix at an event sponsored by the Louis Vuitton Foundation and Tiffany & Co in Paris. Celebrating the opening of “Basquiat × Warhol. Painting Four Hands,” an exhibition devoted to the two artists, Hov delivered his first live set in four years, which included this new mash-up.
Scott-Heron’s “New York Is Killing Me” comes off his 2011 album, I’m New Here, which was the last of his lifetime (the groundbreaking artist died just months after its release). Considered to be a forerunner of hip-hop, his spoken word style has been influential on generations of artists, making the tribute from the world’s richest rapper fitting — even if the “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” writer would likely have some thoughts on Hov’s outspoken embrace of capitalism.
The release comes after some recent activity from JAY-Z, now 53 years old. In addition to playing his first show in four years this past weekend, he also appeared at the 2023 Grammys in February, where he performed his verse from DJ Kahled’s “God Did” in its entirety.