Unlikely matches: Mark Ronson and The Black Lips, Jay-Z’s and Sinatra

Acoustic garage-rock band The Black Lips raised a few eyebrows by deciding to team-up with uber-cool electro/pop producer Mark Ronson, but apparently it’s not such a bad match. If this VBS TV documentary is anything to go on, the album may be something to really look forward to (I couldn’t embed this one so you need to click the link).

On another note, I am leaving in a few hours towards New York, which is amazing for me but content may drop a little for all my loyal readers. As a send-off, I’ve been listening to the New York song of our times – Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys (and also Keys’ solo sequel).  A friend of mine said to me that it wasn’t a great New York song and has nothing on Sinatra and his classic “New York New York”.

So listening to the song this morning, I noticed a line that I hadn’t really payed attention to before:

I’m the new Sinatra, and… since I made it here
I can make it anywhere, yea, they love me everywhere

What does this say to me? Jay-Z recognised that New York, being an iconic city, needs an anthem in popular culture. People who go on trips there or romanticise about it need a tune to express their New York love, and there hadn’t been a really good one for a long time, so Jay-Z figured that he was a big music star, so why not step-up to the plate?

And through enlisting the talent of Ms Keys, he created a damn effective anthem. Now, every time a person from our generation does something related to NYC, they will have Jay-Z in their heads. He has made himself the Sinatra of the 21st century. That’s some genious business accumen right there.

Also, it’s worth reading this review of Jay-Z’s new book from Kelefah Sanneh from The New Yorker talking about poetry in hip hop.

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