Two high-profile collaborations from [artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys[/artist]‘ forthcoming Element of Freedom LP hit the Internet on Friday (December 4) — along with news that [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] will not be featured on Keys’ retake of “Empire State of Mind,” although plans originally called for him to contribute a new verse to the song.
One of the collaborations, “Put It in a Love Song,” a duet with [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] is a bouncy pop track about a girl who just wants her lover to write her a song and prove to her he’s worth her time. The song features a brief chat (“Hey yo, B!” “What up, A?”) between B and Keys at the beginning.
On the other, “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready),” Keys gets a helping hand from [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist], but he sings backing vocals rather than contributing a rapped verse. The song is a gentle, dreamy ballad about contemplating a relationship, with Drake softly crooning in the background.
Finally, although Jay-Z was originally scheduled to contribute a new verse to Keys’ remake of their #1 single, “Empire State of Mind,” a rep for Keys confirmed to MTV News on Friday that Jay will not appear on the new version of the song, which is titled “Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down.” No reason was given for the change of plans.
Earlier this fall, Keys promised fans they should “expect the unexpected” on the disc. “You can expect, like, to be moved,” she said. “You can expect to really be into a zone. I think you can expect the unexpected, ’cause there’s going to be things that you’re going to be like, ‘Wow, is that her? Is that her?’ And I love that about it. You can definitely expect to see major growth, but you’re going to fall in love with this album.”