Alicia Keys Calls ‘Empire State Of Mind’ Video With Jay-Z A ‘Triumph’

'The way it's put together, it is so New York,' singer says of Hype Williams clip.

[artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys[/artist] and [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] show off their “Empire State of Mind” with a tour of New York City in the Hype Williams-directed video that premiered on Friday. The video features black-and-white images of the city intercut with full-color shots of Jay and Keys performing in Times Square.

“It is a masterpiece video,” Keys told MTV News. “The way it’s put together, it is so New York. You totally get it and understand it. It’s artistic. It’s hard. It’s beautiful. It’s like everything. And definitely getting to be in the middle of Times Square on my piano [with] Jay, representing our home city is a triumph. It was unbelievable.”

To Keys, the video has all the key elements of an homage to her hometown: “You have to have the skyline — it’s not New York without the skyline. You have to have the Empire State Building — it’s not New York without the Empire State Building. You have to also have variety. That’s what New York is about. There’s diversity here and so you see that. It’s really beautiful.”

The video was shot on location in some of the busiest areas of the city that never sleeps, which always provides interesting challenges for the crew. “I think that’s the exciting part about it,” said Keys, who performed the song with Jay-Z at Yankee Stadium for game two of the World Series last week. “That’s why you feel the energy that is New York. And you’ll see different parts of New York, and different parts of New York have different energy, so you see that a lot. I understand from Hype and Jay they, like, bogarted parts of New York, and they went in and you feel that and it’s all love.”