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Video: Jay-Z f. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (FADER Version)

October 30, 2009

Apparently the snitches we rely on to pass our ideas to rich and powerful weren't listening when we pitched our treatment of this video, so here goes. Hype, feel free to redo, so long as we get a cut.

As the first notes of "Empire" ring through the speakers, the camera focuses on the front door of Jay's old building in Marcy. A few current young residents stand near. As Jay's verse begins, he emerges from the door and the camera dollies with him. He walks east through Marcy, gathering followers behind him with every step until the first chorus.

Alicia Keys sings in an anonymous New York street, looking off into the distance. Mad emotional.

Jay and a suddenly massive crowd of Brooklynites are now at the foot of the Williamsburg/Manhattan/Brooklyn Bridge (whatever's easiest) and begin to walk over it en masse as Jay starts the second verse. Helicopter shots capture the size of the crowd following Jay across the bridge. CGI this part so we don't really have to get all those people snacks and shit.

Alicia. Still singing on the anonymous street but in a wider angle, revealing some of the street around her. Is she in Manhattan?

Jay and Brooklyn now begin to exit the bridge onto a Manhattan street and the crowd fills the downtown streets behind Jay as he continues to walk forward. This should have the effect of Jay bringing his people with him into the Big City (Tribeca, yeah with Deniro). Do some cutaways of people bro'ing down and putting their diamonds in the sky.

We're still dollying facing Jay as the final chorus is about to begin, and just as it does, the camera pulls away and pans to reveal Alicia. Jay gives her a pound and the two put diamonds up to the massive crowd which responds wildly.

As the final notes play, Jay and Alicia turn back towards the camera and look as badass as possible.


(video via Nah Right)

Video: Jay-Z f. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (FADER Version)