Guest Star “Empire State of Mind” – Alicia Keys, who has some of the most powerful pipes in the business
“California Gurls” – Snoop Dogg, in the news most recently for lending his voice to cars’ GPS devices
Opening “Empire State of Mind” – “Yeah, I’m out that Brooklyn/Now I’m down in Tribeca /Right next to DeNiro/But I’ll be hood forever.”
“California Gurls” – “Greetings, loved ones. Let’s take a journey.”
Hook “Empire State of Mind” – The best pop-song hook in recent memory.
“California Gurls” – Can we be the first to say that all this “ooh” and “aah” and bouncy, aggressive, canned backbeat shit sounds a whole lot like Ke$ha? Not a compliment, Perry.
Inspiration Factor “Empire State of Mind” – On particularly emotional days, we have been known to shed a tear while listening to this song (usually as we cross the Manhattan Bridge on the train home from work).
“California Gurls” – If discussion of Daisy Dukes, bikinis, and sex on the beach don’t make you want to realize your dreams, then you’re SOL.
City Sales Pitch “Empire State of Mind” – Aside from the immortal “concrete jungle that dreams are made of”? “Welcome to the melting pot/Corners where we selling rocks/Afrika Bambaataa shit/Home of the hip hop/Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back/For foreigners it ain’t fair/They act like they forgot how to add/8 million stories out there and they’re naked/Citiy, it’s a pity half of y’all won’t make it.” Not always pretty, but isn’t that part of why we love New York?
“California Gurls” – “I know a place where the grass is really greener/… There must be something in the water/Sippin’ gin and juice/Layin’ underneath the palm trees.”
Winner: You’ve kidding, right? Listen, we have nothing against L.A., but maybe they should find someone better to rep them… We suggest Axl.