“Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York!” [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] took hip-hop to the World Series earlier this month, and on Friday (November 6) he took it to the teams’ World Series victory parade. Not only did Hov ride one of the floats with Yankee star Alex Rodriguez during the parade down the Canyon of Heroes, he closed out the ceremony at City Hall for the Bronx Bombers.
After giving out keys to the city to the entire Yankee organization — including team captain Derek Jeter — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a “special treat.”
“His song has become one of the newest anthems of the Yankees,” Bloomberg told the audience. “Please welcome a great Yankee fan and a great New Yorker: Jay-Z.”
Of course, the anthem Bloomberg was referring to was “Empire State of Mind,” which Jay and Alicia Keys performed at Yankee Stadium just before game 2 of the Series. (A new version of the song will appear on Keys’ forthcoming LP, Element of Freedom.
The crowd stood on its feet as Jay — who performed the song at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Berlin the night before — came out. Keys was not in attendance, so singer Bridget Kelly joined him, as she did in Berlin.
“I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere/ Yeah, they love me everywhere,” Jay, wearing a navy-blue Yankees jacket, rapped.
Superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez danced hard to the song, throwing his hand up in the air. Meanwhile, Yankee outfielder Johnny Damon captured the moment with his flipcam while pitcher Andy Pettitte clapped.
“Came here for school, graduated to the high life/ Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,” Jay continued. “MDMA got you feelin’ like a champion/ The city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien.”
As Kelly sang the last notes of the record — “Big lights will inspire you/ Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York” — Yankees C.C. Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain and Nick Swisher came from the their seats to shower Jay with handshakes and hugs.