Empire State Of Mind Jay-Z (Live) Music Video

Alicia Keys joins Jay-Z for his 2009 MTV VMA finale performance of 'Empire State Of Mind' on stage at Radio City Music Hall. (2009 MTV Video Music Awards. source: mtv

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Run This Town Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye West

"Run This Town" is a 2009 song performed by American rapper Jay-Z. The song features Barbadian R&B singer Rihanna and rap artist Kanye West, who also produced the song alongside No I.D. It is released as the second single of Jay-Z's studio album The Blueprint 3. After the song was released to iTunes on August 11, 2009, it jumped to the third position on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his highest peak as a lead artist to date. It is also Jay-Z's first Top 5 Rap Song since 2006's "Show Me What You Got". Jay-Z, Rihanna and West performed "Run This Town" on the series premiere of The Jay Leno Show on September 14, 2009.

The second official single was originally planned as "Off That" featuring Drake but has since been changed to "Run This Town" with Rihanna and Kanye West, as confirmed by Jay-Z in an interview with Tim Westwood, "We basically run this town. It's myself, Rihanna and Kanye. It's pretty much it." The song made its radio debut on July 24 at 9:11 a.m to coincide with the album's release date, September 11th, 2009. The official single was released on iTunes on August 11, 2009. It was officially released to urban radio the week of August 9, 2009. Its UK release followed on August 31 2009. Rihanna's contribution was her first musical appearance following her February 8th altercation with her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

Critical Reception
"Run This Town" has received mixed reviews. About.com felt that Rihanna's vocal performance was mediocre and Jay-Z lacked presence, writing, "It looks like someone finally got tired of being bullied by “Big Brother.” Roc Nation dropped the ball on the song credit though; it was supposed to read ‘Kanye West Featuring Rihanna,’ because ‘Ye murdered Jay on his own track. But that's not saying much because Jay was running this race on one foot. In other words, Kanye didn’t win, Jay lost".

Pitchfork Media however, praised the song: "There's something for everybody: Jay sounds engaged in a way he rarely has since unretiring, Rihanna coos those "ay ay"s the radio loves, and Kanye West, as you may have read, once again upstages the guy he's producing. Rihanna's hook may not be Auto-Tune'd, but it's definitely autopilot."

Digital Spy was in the middle saying:

"Boasting three of the biggest stars from the worlds of hip-hop and R&B, 'Run This Town' was never going to be a flop, but neither is it a roaring success. Kanye's slick rapping ("Reebok baby, you need to drop some new things, have you ever had shoes without shoestrings?") and Rihanna's "hey-hey" chorus hook make Jay-Z seem surplus to requirements, which surely can't have been the aim. The chaotic military march beats are impressive - and hats off to Jigga for snubbing Auto-Tune - but this track still doesn't seem fitting of an artist considered a groundbreaking rap legend.source: wikipedia
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