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Morning Spew

Why Has Eric Adams Given Himself a Theme Song?

You'll never guess what it is. Plus, these links will make you feel brand new!

10:09 AM EDT on June 30, 2023

(Benny Polatseck / Mayoral Photography Office)

When the news that Mayor Eric Adams had begun to walk out at events to "Empire State of Mind" first hit the Hell Gate office, we initially weren't quite sure what to make of it. We asked ourselves: Is this a joke? Is there some poor aide who has to scramble to find the sound system's aux cord everywhere the mayor goes? He's had his staff play the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys anthem during several of his recent public appearances, including at a press conference announcing new trash can requirements. The CITY's Katie Honan has been on the case. "I've been told by a source that this is the only song he wants played," Honan wrote in a tweet. 

There's the optics of playing a song that cliché: It's garish, silly, cringe. Plus, what kind of guy gives himself a theme song? One who proclaims he was chosen by God to be the mayor, I guess! Eric Adams would like you to believe he is the symbol of New York (this is a man who once declared, "I am real estate," after all), but you can't get main character energy that easily, we're afraid—you actually have to do things. 

But maybe he just needs a little inspiration to get through his day. On the heels of a Father's Day sermon Adams gave that included doubling down on one of his favorite daydreams—children starting their day "going to the local bodega, getting cannabis and fentanyl"—as well as some fretting that social media is teaching those children to steal cars and, in what can easily be read as a nod to anti-trans panic, "disfigure their bodies," his embrace of a theme song begins to look a little like the move of a man just trying to hold himself together as he descends into the rabbit hole of old-age Facebook-driven paranoia. Add to that his lashing out at an octogenarian New Yorker who fled the Holocaust for asking a question about the urgent housing affordability crisis, and we may need to pause and ask: Is this guy okay?

Because, look, contrary to popular belief, "Empire State of Mind" is not bad, it's overplayed, and there's a difference. And if hearing that jingling piano riff is what Mayor Adams needs to get through his workday right now, by all means, play on. Because this concrete jungle may be where dreams are made of, but one thing you can't do is compare Holocaust survivors to plantation owners.

One thing you can do is click on these links:

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