Best Crossover Record of 2009
Was there anyone in America who wasn't vibing out to Jay-Z's “Empire State of Mind” in '09? Doubtful – with a souring chorus by R&B songstress Alicia Keys and an appropriately epic instrumental by Shux (along with co-producers Janet Sewell-Ulepic and Angela Hunte), the Blueprint 3 single had something to offer just about every listener, and the track's wide-ranging appeal ultimately earned it a #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100.
Drake - Best I Ever Had
This one was never really even a question. Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 was a big album, but "Empire State of Mind" was an absolutely huge song, the type of track that transcends hip-hop and gets played everywhere from project block parties to suburban aerobics classes. With Alicia Keys bringing the track to the next level with an instantly classic chorus, "Empire State of Mind" is the definition of a crossover smash. Let's hear it for New York.