Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind has inspired countless YouTube parodies, some are great and some aren't. A whole bunch are about Jews and the crazy things we do. Let's take a look at a few.
As expected, matzah, Manischewitz and Bar Mitzvahs crop up in a few, but each one has an angle and tone distinct to itself. Some are more focused on various elements of secular American Jewish culture, some focus more on the dietary restrictions, and some are more political in nature. Which is your favorite?
This is probably the most straight ahead parody of the bunch. It's pretty well-rounded as well, referencing Borough Park, seders and summer camp. Some of the rhyming is a little wonky but the chorus line, "you'll have a Bar Mitzvah/before we'll admit ya" is pretty good.
Empire Schtick of Mind
Another fairly straight-forward parody, this one has a lot of emphasis on Lower East Side Jewry like Katz's. Extra points for the use of the shofar. Definitely the best title of the bunch and the highest production value.
A little angrier and more political in nature, this one touches on the Middle East, Mel Gibson and Louis Farrakhan but still has some great lines like, "I'm about 5 foot 2 with my shoes on/turn on the TV just to see which Jew is on" (it's Jon Stewart, of course). Plus, the interplay between Holocaust and challah cost is incredible.
Jewish State of Mind
This is calmer, more focused on holidays and Kosher law, and uses graphics exclusively. Definitely gets bonus points for being the only one to include gefilte fish, which really gets a bad rap (in my opinion, no pun intended). Also, it has the only reference to prayers in the five: "I drink Manischewitz wine like it aint nothing/but before I sip "bore peri hagafen."
Forrest Hills State of Mind
This one was made by comedian Bill Eichner with an appearance by SNL alum Rachel Dratch and focuses largely on his upbringing in Forrest Hills, New Jersey. Shots from his Bar Mitzvah are integral to the piece and are pretty effective, but it's definitely the most resentful of the bunch.