1. I’m shocked how few “Empire State Of Mind” parody/reworks there are. If LMFAO can release like a bazillion different versions of “I’m In Miami Bitch” simply by replacing “Miami” with whatever city they think can move iTunes units, you’d think more YouTube “superstars” would try to put on for their city by tackling Jay-Z’s celebration of the Big Apple. Yet upon stumbling across Japanese rapper Man’s Nagoya-celebratin’ version, I realized I haven’t heard many spin-offs of this since it dropped last year (LCD Soundsystem covered it…does that count?). I think it’s simply one of those songs that’s just so damn good about capturing a specific place that trying to replicate it seems like a daunting challenge. “Empire State Of Mind” is just gorgeous…even if it took me a while to get into it because it became the 2009 Yankees’ official song, the song they played right after eliminating my favorite team the LA Angels from the postseason STILL ANGRY. Or, as hinted at by the singing on “Nagoya State Of Mind,” Alicia Keye’s soaring chorus shouldn’t be attempted by anyone else.
2. Look, I like Nagoya. Excellent subway system, very pretty university campus, nice folks. But…someone really wrote an anthem about Nagoya? Now, because I’m all about promoting tourism to Japan you should definitely so you should check it out…but don’t expect to be staying there to long. It’s probably a nice play to live but that’s it, just nice. Man even gives a shout-out to The Hub, which is a series of “British themed” pubs spread all over Japan. This would be like saying the pride of Nagoya cuisine is Yoshinoya Beef Bowl. And I’ve been to that Hub it’s not that great!
In conclusion, Osaka rocks go Osaka. Now that’s a city deserving of a Jay-Z parody/celebration joint.