Jay-Z Didn’t Like Alicia Keys’ Original Vocals on “Empire State of Mind”

Jay-Z’s a perfectionist. Just ask Alicia Keys. As part of an episode of VH1 Storytellers, the New York-bred songbird recently shared details on her recording session for Hov’s “Empire State of Mind.”

The God MC asked Alicia to guest on the song, but apparently wasn’t satisfied with the first version she submitted. To let Alicia tell it, she was congested during the first recording and Hov reached out and asked her to re-cut her vocals. Keys jokingly told the audience attending the taping at NYC’s Metropolis Studios last night (September 13) that she was bothered by Jigga Man’s request.

In the end, a classic was born. “Empire State of Mind” earned Jay his first No. 1 single as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It looks like Jay was onto something.

VH1 Storytellers starring Alicia Keys is set to air November 12 at 11 p.m. EST on VH1. —Carl Chery (@cchery)

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  • DREW

    Uh the God MC is Rakim, yall the professionals come on now dont get that kinda shit twisted

  • Truth

    Regarding the Occupy movement comments…Jay-z is from one of the toughest hoods in America. He gets a pass. Obviously he doesn’t despise the 99% but his questions were legitimate of the Occupy movement. Most people don’t even know what the movement specifically addresses and what the goals of the movement were. If the goals were just to bring attention to economic inequality then that’s not direct enough. We need to fight for a specific result.