BLOG: Put On

Since I haven’t gotten the Cuban Linx 2 leak yet (I know), I’ve been bumping Blueprint 3 for the past week. One of my favorite tracks already being blasted on radio, in New York at least, is “Empire State of Mind” featuring Alicia Keys and… no Nas. Grumble if you will, but the album is solid – the best Jay-Z project we can ask for right now. As for “Empire State,” it feels like the rap version of Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York.” I’m already expecting some kind of All-star remix and perhaps a Jim Jones remake, “Harlem State of Mind.” I don’t see any way Jay’s not performing that song at his 9/11 MSG concert – could be the perfect show closer to go along with an NYC anthem medley.

Whether you like the song or not, “Empire State” is just one of many city anthems in hip-hop. Rap is all about where you’re from, going from ashy to classy while paying homage to your humble beginnings. So when rappers get on, they gotta put on for their city, whether it’s Pac’s “California Love,” Common’s “Chi City,” Nelly’s “St. Louie,” Ludacris’ “Welcome to Atlanta,” etc. Getting even more specific, what about borough anthems, like B.I.G.’s “Brooklyn’s Finest,” 50 Cent’s “Queens” and Jay’s “Brooklyn Go Hard.”

If the song is good enough, even if you’re not from that place, it makes you want to go there. Since I’m New Yawk-raised (Queens!), here’s my personal NYC anthem playlist. Where you from and what city anthems get you amped? —clovito

Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind”
“Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we sellin’ rock/Afrika Bambaataa shit, home of the hip-hop/Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dolla cab, holla back”

Cam’ron, “Welcome to New York City” feat. Jay-Z
“You can jam with them jammers, blam with them blamers/It’s hot here, ask Mase, he ran to Atlanta”

Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind”
“In the PJ’s, my blend tape plays, bullets are strays/Young bitches is grazed, each block is like a maze/Full of black rats trapped, plus the Island is packed”

Big Pun feat. M.O.P. “New York Giants”
“This is for my 25 to life bidders, pork fried rice eaters/New York, New York, ice rockin’ tight wifebeaters”

Ja Rule, “New York” feat. Fat Joe, Jadakiss
“And Rule gon’ bring the ghetto gospel/To every hood possible, pushin’ through in the sky blue/Back with the gods you now, preferably the 4 pound/Slugs flyin’ at the speed of sound”

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    Memphis Bleek ft Trick Daddy & T.I – Round Here

    Ludacris ft JD – Welcome To Atlanta

    Ludacris ft Field Mob – Georgia

    • joe p

      i dont think baltimore have shit man … 50 cent – a baltimore love thing ? lol

  • Pierzy

    Blueprint 3 is garbage. Just terrible.

    Nawledge beat me to it on the two Luda tracks.

    “Where I’m From” – Jay-Z

    • Detroit P

      Co-sign Where I’m From



      • Pierzy

        It looks like I touched a nerve…

        • murK

          Pierzy is an eminem stan who can’t stand asher roth…

        • Jericho

          Pierzy is right though. BP3 is an awfully uninspired record.

          Jay-Z has lost the desire to rap. It’s evident in his music…and even he has acknowledged as much. I read something about how his next album will be more “experimental” because he’s got nothing to prove anymore or whatever.

          Now to me that seems a clear indication he couldn’t give a rat’s ass about BEP3. I mean, why talk about your next album when your new album has even dropped? No-one would do that unless they’re trying to distract attention from what is a mediocre album…

        • ERIC

          uhh… i believe the question was, “what is your favorite anthem song?”

    • E.6

      Your oppinion
      Mine is He could of went for some James Brown Samples its a complete album feel me hes 40 and the least liked song(critic wise)ghetto techno is my favorite i’ve been for about the whole year sayin fuck jay-z but once i heard the whole thang im like wow beatwise lyric wise its the album people wanted from him on A.G Ima red blooded lyricist i listen to everything from the cadence 2 each metaphor thoroughly But It just dont seem like a blueprint because hes not doin something we havent heard yet nothin new about is it a classic probably let it grow on you

  • Detroit P

    I can’t think of any GOOD Detroit Anthems…Maybe Rock City by Royce 5’9..

    • Jamal7Mile

      What’s up DP?

      *2nd try*

      I agree. Detroit is late with their own anthem. Kid Rock doesn’t quite count. Eminem’s “Beautiful” is close (and dope), but is it an anthem?

      I liked TQ’s “Westside” back in the day. I know he’s not a rapper but, for some reason, it qualifies.

      Field Mob had me singing Georgiiaaaa for 3 years now, LOL!

      • Doobie42

        Yall didn’t like “Welcome to Detroit” – Trick Trick ft. em?

        I bumped that shit for weeks

    • Master CHeef

      “there they go” by obie trice ft. em, trick trick, and big hurk off of second round’s on me.

    • E.6

      Blade Icewood-i got luv 4 my city
      Blade-The song where hes talkin about the pistons
      K-doe -In my hood
      Cheddaboy Malik-Round here we do it big

      • DetroitDraper

        Yea that Blade the shit.

    • Semaj Raff

      how about “It takes money to make money” by stretch money?

  • OG Matt Herbz

    “In Decatur” by Ghetto Mafia

    What’s a New York?

  • Casey

    Long Island Degrees- De La

  • AZ40

    Straight Outta Compton-NWA


    NAWLEDGE that was a good call, i forgot all bout that Round Here. dat shit ride. i fux w/

    My Hood – Jeezy
    Put On – Jeezy
    In Da A – T.I. (youtube it)
    Homecoming – Kanye West
    Draped Up rmx
    Get Throwed
    California Love
    Tie My Hands – off Carter 3

  • tronthadon

    Straight From Tha Dec by Ghetto Mafia

    • latino heat

      cosign anybody that knows about Ghetto Mafia. it’s too bad those dudes never got the shine they deserved.

  • BOSS D.R.E.

    Jersey by Kilogram.

  • Ric Sherk

    THE GAME – California Sunshine

    • King Joffy Joe

      @ Ric Sherk, MAJOR co-sign.

  • Frank

    Put Onnnnnnnnnnnnn!

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    My City – Malik Yusef (it’s on a Common album I think, One day it’ll all make sense)

  • tronthadon

    SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN..cmon bruh what about that Pastor Troy-Aint No More Play in Ga
    Old Crunk Shit…Weee Readyyy


      OH YEA! & THIS DA CITY. Troy stayed bringing dat crunk shit.

  • abdulnasir

    Co-sign on Welcome to Atlanta and wasn’t that a JD song? Anyway the remix with snoop, diddy n murphy lee was FIRE!

  • Syler

    Empire State of Mind huh? Is nothing sacred? XXL (and countless other blogs) have been getting emails for months about my album, The Empire State of Mind, which was released over a year ago, and Jay comes out with a song of the same name, which is half decent I’m not gonna lie, but is on a shit album, and people are all on his dick again. It sucks that struggling artists who actually try to bring some originality to the game will never get the opportunity to be heard on the scale that they deserve. I am hip hop. My whole album is about my love and appreciation for New York and how it played a major role in my growth as a mand and an artist. I guess all I needed to do was consolidate it into a song and slap a big name singer on the hook and it would be satisfactory. Am I hating? I really don’t think so because I feel no hate. I’m not angry so much as disappointed. But fuck you if you don’t like it. Have a nice day.

    • RDS

      Ironically, you said all of that but never put a link to your album or any of your music in your post. If your album’s really that good, let the rest of us hear.

      Oh, and BP3′s fire. What about “The Corner” – Common?

  • General

    DJ Quik-”Born and Rasied” and “Just Like Compton”

    Above The Law “Kalifornia” with kokane

  • HNIC

    “Queens” – 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks & LL Cool J

  • Curtis75Black

    LL Cool J – New York, New York – using the Frank Sinatra sample!!
    Naughty By Nature – Uptown Anthem

  • giantstepp

    Straight outta Compton, NWA, 1988.

    • Eric


  • EmCDL

    Virginia-The Clipse

    I wish they made a remix to it though…

    @ Pierzy

    I don’t know man I thought BP3 was tight beatwise…I’m a beatmaker so you know its in my blood. The lyrics were subpar but he says some clever stuff here and there.

    • BIGNAT

      Virginia was what i was going say that song is crazy the clipse is rare from.
      “it’s funny the same place i make figgas at/ is the same place that they use to hang niggas at”

  • Incilin

    Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz – Uptown Baby!

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “Brooklyn’s Finest”-JayZ f/Notorious BIG

  • Curtis75Black

    LL Cool J ft. Prodigy – Queens is
    Straight from Queens
    Farmers Blvd. Anthem

    Boogie Down Productions – SOUTH BRONX

    • The Southern Comfort

      Queens Is – banging track! LL really hurts that song, one of those ones that made you realise how much of a beast he could be (but rarely has been of late)

  • fatDAN

    Still Tippin’-Paul Wall, Slim Thug
    This song still gets played in every city in Texas regularly. A true Texas classic even if other parts of the country don’t feel this song.

  • Curtis75Black

    Crooklyn Dodgers – Crooklyn

    5 Boroughs – KRS,Keith Murray,Bounty Killer, Cam’Ron, Killah Priest, Prodigy, Redman & Run

  • ErvGotti85

    Co sign everything that was mentioned so far, but I’m from Philly and the closet thing we had was Eve Feat. Beanie Sigel – Philly Philly.

    As far as BP3 goes I like it it’s a solid album. Empire state of mind is my favorite track off the album and Run this town has grown on me since it first came out.

    • Pierzy

      Yeah, I couldn’t really think of an “anthem” for our city. We’ve had verses and moments [Beanie on "Money Cash Hoes" (Remix), "Beanie (Mack Bitch)," various Black Thought verses] and freestyles from multiple dudes but no one anthem. Maybe this verse from Thought?

      “Yeah, I’m from the illest part of the Western Hemisphere/So if you into sight seein’ don’t visit there/It’s somewhere between Jersey and Delaware/Philly never scared and them niggaz ain’t timid there/Them young triggers lose lives by the minute there/It might start but the fight never finish there…”

      • ErvGotti85

        Pierzy you from Philly too? Good to read someone from my hometown on this site and co-sign Black Thought first verse from In The Music off of game theory I completely overlooked that song.

      • Pierzy

        Yessir! 2-1-5th Dynasty

  • capcobra

    north carolina by petey pablo…lol.

    • P. Harris

      Please say this is a joke… I’m from NC and til this day I’m still embarassed by that song right there… I was so fucting ashamed every time I went out of state…


      persons: Where you from man?

      P: Raleigh, NC

      persons: Ohhhh, NC “take your shirt off, wave it in the air….

      P: hold, hold, hold, hold…. naw, we don’t do that shit…

      **head down pants in pocket kicking rocks**


      • King Joffy Joe

        @ P. Harris, hey I feel you on that one man. North Carolina is a great state and all, but, when it comes down to hip-hop, they kinda just…. fall short.


    DA SMART, WALK WIT ME best shit ever do sum reseach, its about Chicago!

  • Federal Ranga

    Born N Raised – DJ Khaled Feat Trick Daddy, Pitbull & Rick Ross

    Can probably count Bitch, I’m From Dade County, too.

    E9 up!


      co-sign. i fux w/ both trax. those are some anthems right there.

  • latino heat

    Keak Da Sneak F/ B.A., Town Shit. he flipped the Petey Pablo bullshit and made it straight hood. You Tube that shit.

  • latino heat

    i’m surprised with all the N.Y. anthems no one has said Queens Day by Run DMC F/ Nas and Prodigy.

  • Enlightened

    R.A.C.I.L.L.A. & Racine Nights by 2Dash (google ‘em)

  • brand-new

    eve put it down for philly! a lil off topic but….only built 4 cuban linx 2 is off the f’n hook…we need a raekwon drop! album of the year!

  • C. Hop

    Cam kinda put it down for Columbus too on Get it in Ohio.

  • Fair

    West Savannah-Outkast??

  • Brooklyn

    brooklyn’s finest- jay-z and biggie

    deja vu (uptown baby)- lord tariq and pete guns, i’m from brooklyn and i was singing that shit.

    california love- tupac and dr. dre

    straight outta compton- nwa

    shaolin worldwide- wu-tang

    where brooklyn at- biggie and tupac

    brooklyn in my mind- 9th wonder/mos def/jean grae/memphis bleek

    brooklyn go hard- jay-z

    this one is mad old school, but brooklyn in the house- cut master d.c.

    georgia- ludacris

    harlem world- mase

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      “this one is mad old school, but brooklyn in the house- cut master d.c.”

      Took me back there. Good one.

      • Brooklyn

        most people my age don’t know about that song, but i found it in my pops’ closet, he had the vinyl from back durng his dj days. he told me that that song always got the spot bumping back in the day.

        • Curtis75Black

          @ Brooklyn,

          That’s good you have a father who was induced in Hip Hop because you’ll probably would’ve never known. We used to say “Brooklyn Stole My Couch”. That was a hot track though, in every borough.

        • Brooklyn

          yeah, my pops was the generation that started hip-hop. back in the day he used to jump on the 4 train to the bronx with his boys and go to the parties up there, that was way before sugarhill gang came out, my pops knew the niggas that the sugarhill gang took their rhymes from.

        • $ykotic/Don McCaine

          “We used to say “Brooklyn Stole My Couch”.

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Real talk C75B.

          I still think that’s where KRS got the “Brooklyn keeps on taking it…” thought from.

          And of course the obvious.

        • $ykotic/Don McCaine

          @ Brooklyn

          That’s a good thing. Listen to them stories and vinyls. Good stuff there.


  • nike Addict 707

    sf anthem-traxamillion.
    san quinn went the hardest on it.

  • hippa>>hoppa

    the san francisco anthem
    welcome to the bay..

  • megagavelli

    mos def’s brooklyn joint is the the best city anthem ever imho– he was such a beast lyrically and with the flow back then

    • Pana

      I agree that Brooklyn song by Mos Def gives me chills still! But one of my all-time faves has got to be respiration by Talib, Mos and Common. They each repped so hard for their city. It stays in heavy rotation on the iPod.

      • KL Fella

        Real talk, that Respiration track was ill. I just uploaded it back into my mp3 playlist yesterday when i was digging through my music files in my old PC.

        I think that is a good anthem track.

  • Pana

    my post didn’t show up!
    Anyway, Co-sign the Mos Def joint. That’s my fave BK anthem hands down. But you can’t forget Respiration with Mos, Talib and Common. They repped their cities flawlessly repectively. Still in heavy rotation on the iPod.

  • http://xxlmag twan

    welcome 2 detroit city by trick trick n eminem

    homecoming by kanye west

    california love by 2Pac n Dr. Dre

  • El Tico Loco

    East side West side by Baby D
    Forever I Love Atlanta (FILA) Lil Scrappy
    DSGB (Down South Georgia Boys)

    working my way up

    My Parta Town – Tuff Crew
    North Side – Tuff Crew
    PSK – Schooly D
    (if I didn’t touch Philly I wouldn’t know ya’ll need a new one)

    South Bronx – BDP
    The Bridge – MC Shan
    The Bridge is Over – BDP
    New York – Hi Tek (ft Pap, Kiss, Rae, and Kweli)
    Strong Island – JVC force
    914 – D Block
    L.A. – Murs

  • Sheena

    Man…”I Can’t Forget New Jersey” by Queen Latifah…Born, Bred & Raised Baby!

  • Mr. North

    Ni^^as Aint Barin– Three 6 Mafia

    South Memphis- Lord Infamous

    Throw Your Hood Up– Lil Jon & Eastside Boys

    *not even from Memphis or Down South

  • D Sizzo

    rock city-royce da 5’9
    welcome 2 detroit-trick trick and eminem
    california love-pac
    north memphis like me-juicy j
    welcome to detroit city-obie trice
    ny state of mind/ny state of mind part 2-nas


    Welcome to Niles– BnE

  • Beast McCoy

    Welcome to Atlanta [Coast 2 Coast Remix], New York Shit [Busta], Chi Town [Da Brat w/ prod. by Kanye], Deja Vu – Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz and Straight Outta Compton – NWA are just a few that come to mind.



  • KFrizzle

    8Ball & MJG – Memphis
    Born N Raised Rick Ross, Pitbull, Trick Daddy, etc.
    Detroit Summer – Obie Trice

  • Shawty J

    “Georgia” & “Welcome To Atlanta” – Ludacris

    “Welcome To New York City” – Cam’Ron

    “Homecoming” (Original Version) – Kanye West

    “California Love” – 2Pac


    “Today was a good day”-Ice Cube

    “Let Me Ride” Dr. Dre

    everybody still bumping that shit, classic.

  • cleavon

    reef the lost cauze – sound of philadelphia

  • ay

    vallejo by mac dre, b-legit and various other rappers that I can’t remember

    northern califoolya by e-40, b-legit, san quinn, messy marv, keak the sneak and ea-ski

  • GO-Getta’

    Uptown – Peter Guz & Lord Tariq

    Brooklyn Finest/Where i’m from – Jayz

    2 Live & Die in LA – Pac

    Area Codes – Ludacris (do laugh out loud,lol)

    Destroy & Rebuild – Nas

    Westside – QT (even though its RnB)

  • dc36

    Bone thugs-n-harmony “East 1999″

  • Ali

    I’m from the Bay & all our rappers suck balls!!!!! lol……So my fave anthems are the ones that shout out the whole state or the whole coast

    California Love – Pac

    Cali Sunshine – The Game

    California Vacation – The Game

    Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It! lol

  • joe farver

    Hot boyz tuesdays and thursdays repped for they city cuz of them peoples out their shutting shit down. them peoples be them boys in blue.

    Big Rich- Northern Cali I believe was the name of the song.

    Fresh Prince with summertime that joint rocked and repped for philly don’t care what none of yall say.

    Jay-Z and Camron welcome to new york city one of cam’s best cameo’s key word cameo’s

    Elliot Ness S.W. Philly

    Dmx song that said stop drop shut em down open up shop.

    For them old school gang bangers Ice T colors.

    Baby D lil jon pastor troy and archie eversole with the song atl hoe. that joint rock like shit that was shit back in 02 and 03.

    lol coo coo cal in my projects. somebody had to rep for milwaukee glad it was him and not me

  • Ya Boy

    Welcome to houston – Slim Thug featuring Chamillionaire and every other Texas rapper in existance. Thats a banger.

    • Doobie42

      Actually you clown that only had folk from Houston. You apparently ain’t from the area.

      Joell Ortiz – Brooklyn Bullshit

      • Ya Boy

        Wow a clown? I believe Pimp C & Bun B are from Port Arther? U Fag.

  • Big Lyrics


  • John Cauner

    Man, the only “anthems” I can think of for California, would be, California Love. And for Los Angeles, To Live and Die In L.A. Obviously, you have songs by any said Los Angeles artist, DJ Quik, Compton’s Most Wanted, Xzibit, Murs, Snoop, Ice Cube, Dilated Peoples, any Bay Area artist, etc, that show love to their respected cities(neighborhoods). I do like L.A. by Murs though, my personal Los Angeles anthem, Mid City!

  • John Cauner

    One more, co-sign joe farver, on the ’80s tip, Colors. I could I forget that.



  • Technique

    City i luv- Jon young

    Dude aint too sick but this song is ill, he was doin that auto-tune shit like 2 years before t-pain.

    Real Talk


    i have to agree with most of these but to actually say i agree as far as the article goes would do a disservice to my scene and my city.the choices most of yall posted are definitely dope.but nap hasnt had anyone go mainstream yet but the local scene is poppin like i have to go with the underground jam (which is hard as hell,not just because its local).by none other than one of my boys on the scene yb “50 deep remix” its got all the hardest local cats on it killin the mic reppin our city.yb’s the truth around nap.a dope ass producer and rapper.




    as far as out side of nap.i have to give it uo to.
    2pac-live and die in L.A
    trick trick and eminem-welcome to detroit city
    bone-east 1999
    west side connection-west side slaughterhouse
    dre-california love
    though i cant stand him- ja rule-new york. his last good song

  • JMack

    love everybody gettin off subject lol shit is a trip.

    not from detroit but i agree “There They Go” was sick definitely an anthem

    “Respiration” SICK.

    as far as back here in Dallas, “Southside Da Realist” by Big Tuck gotta be one shit puts you in a state of mind you can only understand knowin the way of life in this shit pit.