The pair treat World Series fans – and players – to a raucous rendition of "Empire State of Mind"

By Tim Nudd
October 30, 2009 08:15 AM
Brad Barket/Getty

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies were supposed to be the main attraction Thursday night at Game 2 of the World Series. But Jay-Z and Alicia Keys turned the players into fans during a rocking pre-game performance of their hit song “Empire State of Mind.”

Jay-Z prowled the outfield stage in a Yankees cap and varsity jacket, rapping his New York anthem, while Keys belted out the chorus, first while seated at her piano and then from center stage.

Cameras caught players from both dugouts bobbing their heads and enjoying the show, and the Yankees seemed unperturbed by Jay-Z’s somewhat controversial lyric, “I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.”

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“I think it almost seems like it’s the anthem for New York right now,” Derek Jeter told

“I got an opportunity to get to know Jay-Z throughout the years and he’s very, very talented doing a lot of things,” the shortstop said. “But he knows what he’s doing, so I think New York has kind of embraced that song.”

“As a die-hard Yankees fan, I’m honored to perform a song that celebrates the greatness of New York in one of our city’s most important landmarks, Yankee Stadium,” Jay-Z said in a press release.