Anyone who got a raging vertical stick from Lady Gaga's lurid and ambitious "Bad Romance" video was probably left a bit flaccid from her restrained appearance in Beyonce's video for "Video Phone." But, this is clearly a Beyonce video first and foremost, and there was no chance that the Queen B would let herself be upstaged on her own turf. An intro that promises a Reservoir Dogs faceoff between the two music stars fades into a bootylicious Beyonce performance montage, mixed with a slight narrative in which she and Lady Gaga go all commando on some videoheaded men.
When even the Wall Street Journal is forced to publicly pontificate whether or not "Empire State Of Mind" belongs on the shortlist of truly classic NYC songs, you know that Jay-Z and Alicia Keys have succeeded in creating an instant anthem. The video for the tune is exactly what it oughta be: A modern, rap video update of the defining b&w sightseeing tour that is Woody Allen's classic film, Manhattan.