In 2004, Ja Rule was able to revive his career with his hit, "New York." For a short time, the entire New York hip hop scene was united behind this song. With features from Fat Joe and Jadakiss, the song gained significant airplay. Then, the video featured the top artists and producers from New York in the past decade.
As production was wrapping up on The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z announced he was working on a new single. The song, "Empire State of Mind," was a play off of Nas' "NY State of Mind" and was to feature Nas. But, when the song came out, Alicia Keys was revealed as the lone guest.
Still, the nice melody and the beat of the song, coupled with Jay-Z's lyrics led to the single rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in November 2009. Being the first number one single in Jay-Z's career, his legacy was finally cemented, but Nas was missing. Later, he spoke on not being on the song, saying he and Jay-Z agreed to take the song in another direction. There were rumors of Nas jumping on a remix, which was to feature multiple New York rappers. This never came to be, but Nas recently spoke on the song.
He gave the song its co-sign and he admitted "Empire State of Mind" is likely to be the greatest out of all of the New York anthems. Nas meant, all-time, not only the hip hop anthems.