New 'Glee' music: Hear the cast cover 'Empire State of Mind'

The Glee season two premiere is a week away but the first song off the episode has leaked: a New Directions’ cover of Jay-Z’s and Alicia Keys’ blockbuster hit “Empire State of Mind.” Artie (Kevin McHale), Finn (Cory Monteith), and Puck (Mark Salling) appear to be tackling much of the rapping while the rest of the glee club, particularly Mercedes (Amber Riley), handle Keys’ incredible chorus. Listen below…

What do you think Music Mix-ers? Is this a cover Jay-Z would approve? Or reject?

More on the Music Mix:
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Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’ studio version: Love it or hate it?
Soul legend Mavis Staples on her new, Jeff Tweedy-produced CD

John Mayer quits Twitter
‘True Blood’ season finale: The story behind ‘Evil (Is Going On)’

Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • Joseph

    I’m so excited over the new season! Can’t wait!

    • Marie

      Me, too. This doesn’t sound amazing, though. It’s okay-ish. But did I hear “the N word” in this song!? I think I did. I know it says it in the original lyrics…

      • sammy

        they replaced the n word with brothers.

      • Beautiful

        Its sounds so…Canned. It sounded better in the previews. maybe its just this version?

      • Brianna

        Sounds great and it will even sound a million times better on the cd!!!! So excited :) <3

      • Sarah

        I definitely heard the n-word at the 0:50 mark. Did not sound at all like “brothers”.

      • Caroline

        yep, i DEFINITELY heard the “n word.” ridiculous. it was bad all-around. very disappointed. there was no spark to it.

      • Deanna

        Hate this song…..badly.

      • Karr

        He actually said jigga ;)

    • ZuriichHottie

      Reject. Missed the mark.

      • the truth

        Haven’t listened yet, but I never undersatnd why people get so excited about remakes. The original is REAL. Artie didn’t make a yankee hat famous. Bleh!

  • jango

    God this sucks.

    • Che

      It does!!! Suckss SO BAD!!! Very disappointed on his Glee cover, it was boring all the way!

      • Caroline

        it really was bad! VERY weak! they can’t rap. so they need to stop having the characters rap. they canNOT compare to alicia and jay-z’s. plus, i saw a preview w/ them in their ugly “new york” t-shirts. very, very tacky (and not in a good way, which this show sometimes does)!

    • lefty

      It sounds like Kidz Bop.

      • Marie

        Some of their songs miss the mark, and this one missed it by several mile. And it doesn’t sound like Kidz Bop – more like a poor kid’s Kids Bop.

    • NAT

      Agreed. Don’t mind the chorus, but I really think the cast should just avoid rapping. None of them have a good voice for it. And as much as I like Cory, the vocal tone required for rapping sounds really weak coming from him.

  • Will

    I feel as if they ruined Jay-Z’s song. I’m disappointed.

    • znachki

      It just proves that rapping WELL is not as easy as some people mistakenly believe it is. The chorus was good though.

    • Late

      How can you ruin a song that sucked to begin with?

  • Alia

    Hip-hop’s not their strong suit, but this is passable. I think I’ll like it better in context.

    • Alia

      And they really need to get someone in that group who can rap. I mean, Mark Salling’s okay, but not great. Cory (bless his heart) just sounds… Canadian.

      • Liz

        I am Canadian American and spent a good five minutes trying to think of a Canadian rapper so I could pretend that CAnadians can rap. Nope. Not a one. Been in America too long Iguess.

      • Tye-Grr

        Drake the rapper is Canadian. There’s one.

      • AN

        Haha did you guys forget Drake is from Canada?!
        But I agree not their best, I hope they don’t put the hole song on that episode… however I’m still excited!

      • J

        Really? I thought Mark Salling was the worst out of the three. XD

      • Romy

        To Liz: What about Drake?

      • Heather

        Isn’t that white guy Snow from the early 90’s canadian?

      • C

        haha. I forgot about him. He is.

      • Zoe

        Ha–like I always say “His name is Aubrey Graham!” No one who watched Degrassi back in the early days of 2001 can seriously just think “Drake the rapper.” It’s Jimmy Brooks, after all! (But it’s cool he has success with the rapping–not knocking that!)

      • Babs

        Cory is of course no Jay-Z but he sounds fine. Pleasantly surprised.

      • fabz

        hahahahahahahaha! lol! that’s so funny! (I’m cannadian 2)LMFAO!

      • Rock Golf

        Other good Canadian rappers: K’Naan, Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Buck 65, Rascalz, and if you stretch back in time Snow.

      • cookiemac

        Classified is a good Canadian rapper, just check out his video for “Oh Canada”. What other national anthem could you sample in a rap song?

      • C

        hahaha i love it! so true! you almost wanna put him out of his misery, it’s so bad!

      • uglynikki

        Drake is Canadian

      • BlackIrish4094

        @alia, what about Snow (Toronto rapper) had a hit with Informer.

      • Noodle

        I’m Canadian, and I don’t quite understand the objection on those grounds. But then again, since we’re from the same city, I can’t detect anything strange about his accent since its also my own. I just think Cory’s singing voice doesn’t have the grit/deep sound necessary for rapping. When he sings in this tone his voice sounds thin.

  • Oscar

    don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the show but they should stop rapping for good!! I’m excited to see the premiere but now that this song is in the episode ummmm idk, I’m actually really tired of hearing that song…. so my opinion on this song for this show is FAIL

    • Oscar

      oops! meant to type DISLIKE… my bad lol

    • Kisha

      That’s my thing .I’m tired of this song so this does nothing for me . Same hing when they did “Bad Romance” last season.

  • Megan

    Man, this is so good! They’re incredible.

  • Phil The Thrill

    Glee needs to stop covering rap songs. They do well with pop songs and they should just stick with that. They haven’t done a rap cover that is remotely good (remember ‘Gold Digger’).

    • cheese


    • Casey

      Yup. They can’t do rap. They’re too preppy and bubbly for it. Also, I am SO tired of this song.

  • Carrie #2

    Not sure about this yet. The singing is good, but the rapping is a pale imitation of Jay-Z’s version (and I’m not even a rap fan). Maybe it’ll be better in context and with a video.


    Wow this is terrible. If they can’t get anyone into Glee that can rap/do hip-hip without sounding ridiculous, they should just stop doing it.

  • Will

    A lot of these songs are sounding really “Kidz Bop”ish.

    • Alex

      SO TRUE. kidz bob…haha

      i couldn’t have said it better myself

  • G.

    Get ready for the Glee Backlash folks! The first half of Season 1 was excellent, but then it became this sappy, sentimental stereotype of itself. It needs to get its edge and dark humor back. Otherwise…I am envisioning another Ugly Betty!

    • RMG

      I miss Ugly Betty so much!

    • Carrie

      couldnt agree more!!! the 1st 1/2 was SO good! i bought all the songs and the dvd. now im not even excited for the premiere, since the second 1/2 was such a hot mess. very disappointing.

    • J

      Ditto the above comments. Hoping the season starts off like the first half of last season, not the second.

  • fefe

    They ruined that show. I hope this season isnt corny. Amber Riley can sing which makes up for the corny rap part

    • djm

      Yeah, until you buy the song on iTunes and she’s been auto-tuned to within a centimeter of her life. Sorry, on the show she sounds good but on every song I’ve purchased they all sound like Alvin & the Chipmunks.

  • scottG

    This song sucks as much as the show does. Who wants to hear a great song like this “covered” by amateurs. Isn’t that just karaoke!?! Glee needs to get over itself.

    • Jon


    • Jen

      Then don’t listen to it, don’t watch it, and don’t waste your time reading articles and posting about it. Problem solved.

  • Bree

    This cover sucks. Seriously, rapping???

  • Marc

    they should stick to musical songs and pop.. thats all their worth, really

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