Released: September 2009
The funniest thing about this song is that Katy Perry, bless her, actually believes that ‘California Gurls’ is some kind of Westside riposte to it. Smashing as she and Snoop’s ode to “Daisy dukes, bikinis on top” is, the heat of that wig is clearly going to the poor lassie’s head. So colossal you can’t even see the top, ‘Empire State…’ was the song of at least two summers. You can drop it on any dance floor, at any time and be an absolute, instant hero. Somehow it manages to make everyone a New Yorker, if only for a few minutes. Jay’s rhyme’s are casually, relaxedly brilliant, riffing off De Niro, Sinatra, the Yankees, dropping street names and social analysis, while Alicia bawls for her life in the choruses, She hardly needed to tell us to “get your lighters in the air” really.
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