Jay-Z to Leave the Empire State?

This fall Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” quickly became the go-to anthem for New Yorkers, Czechs, and (gasp!) Midwesterners alike. But as the Cross-Genre Prince of 2009 steps toward the recording studio with Swizz Beatz (who he previously worked with “On to the Next One”) hooked as producer, could our unofficial Mayor of New York be leaving DeNiro and his Dominicanos behind?

Swizz (who has worked with DMX, Eve, and Lil Jon, to name a few) announced to MTV that he’ll be heading to Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to pick up new beats for Jigga’s latest.

“We been talking about that international vibe since the last album. But the sound changes. You got too many people trying to do too many things. They throw it off. I’m actually going out there doing the legwork, sitting there with the master composers, and we gonna pull this thing together.”

So will Jay continue to rule the concrete jungle with a melting pot of tunes, or does this mark a step-down from the throne of Empire King? Hov has said that it will be “the most experimental album” that he’s ever made — that “it’s not gonna be a #1 album.” Consider us intrigued.