Building upon her much-hyped collaboration with Kanye West and Brooklyn-based rapper Fivio Foreign, Alicia Keys has released “City of Gods Part II,” a re-working of the Donda 2 track “City of Gods” that finds the Grammy Award-winning pianist and songwriter paying ode to her hometown of New York City. The singer showcased the new single for the first time live with a dynamic performance on The Ellen Show.
Keys’ version of the track — which, like “City of Gods,” interpolates the chorus of The Chainsmokers’ “New York City” — combines the singer’s signature jazz-tinged piano progressions with the trap-inspired backing beat of the song featured on Donda 2. “City of gods, city of dreams/City where nothing is never what it seems,” Keys sings on the opening verse. “They’ll never take you away from me/’Cause I see nothing but infinity.” She paid homage to the Big Apple in her Ellen performance, playing a grand piano in front of a glowing New York City skyline backdrop.
The stripped-down music video accompanying the track’s release features Keys decked out in full glam while posing alongside Mercedes’ Vision EQ Silver Arrow concept car. Keys, who serves as a brand ambassador for the German auto manufacturer, has made several appearances in Mercedes advertisements and performed at a launch event for the brand’s line of electric vehicles in November. Rapper Slick Rick also makes a cameo in the clip, placing several impressive articles of bling around Keys’ neck.
In December, the singer released her eighth studio LP, Keys — a 26-track double-album that Rolling Stone called “her most ambitious to date.” She most recently made an appearance at West’s expansive (and chaotic) Donda 2 listening party in February, and released a limited-edition collaboration with activewear brand Athleta in March. Keys will soon embark on an expansive tour of the U.S. and Europe in support of Keys, which kicks off June 9 in Birmingham, England before wrapping Sept. 24 in Nashville.