100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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97. Jay Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"

This towering New York anthem began as a demo by Angela Hunte, who grew up in the same Brooklyn building as Jay Z, and Jane't Sewell-Ulepic. With a vocal from Keys, the song took on an angelic power. "Even amongst all that dark and destitution, there's that underlying possibility that you just might be able to do it," Keys said. "That's what the song is about."

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