The New York Yankees had an unlikely edge in their 3-1 victory over the Phillies on Thursday night: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, who allowed the players a moment - four minutes, to be exact - to be fans instead of center-spotlit superstars before the World Series game with a rocking pre-game performance of their hit song “Empire State of Mind.”
Decked out in his trademark Yankee fitted hat and matching jacket, Jay successfully rallied his team after Wednesday’s Game One loss. While Yankees infielder Ramiro Pena caught the entire performance with a handheld recorder, cameras panned to pitcher Joba Chamberlain bobbing his head and closer Mariano Rivera watching, captivated.
“I made the Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can,” Jay rapped from a stage placed in the outfield and adorned with Yankees flags, while Alicia alternated between playing piano and belting out the chorus.
“I think it’s special for all of New York,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said of the song, which is on Jay-Z’s recent album The Blueprint 3. Jeter, aka the other king of New York, uses the song as his at-bat music as well. Additionally, slugger Alex Rodriguez steps up to the batter’s box to the Roc Nation head honcho’s “Already Home.” No word yet on whether A-Rod’s girlfriend Kate Hudson has her own signature Jay-Z song… but I can think of a few that might fit.
“I think it almost seems like it’s the anthem for New York right now,” Jeter added. “I got an opportunity to get to know Jay-Z throughout the years and he’s very, very talented doing a lot of things. But he knows what he’s doing, so I think New York has kind of embraced that song.”
“As a die-hard Yankees fan, I’m honored to perform a song that celebrates the greatness of New York in one of our city’s most important landmarks, Yankee Stadium,” Jay-Z said in a press release.