It may be considered a classic now, but apparently, the original version of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ number one single “Empire State of Mind” wasn’t exactly up to snuff. Now, XXL reports that Keys apparently had to re-cut her vocals before it met Jay’s approval.

In an upcoming installment of “VH1 Storytellers,” Keys recalled that Hov wasn’t particularly thrilled with the original version of the single that she recorded. According to her, she was congested during the first recording of the track, causing her voice to sound different. 

After hearing the first session, Jay requested that the singer re-cut her vocal track to make it clearer. Apparently, this wasn’t a problem for the songstress, as she joked that Jigga’s request was a burden.



The episode of “VH1 Storytellers” in which Keys tells this story will air on November 12 at 11 p.m. EST.

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