New Hampshire Gets "Empire State" Treatment in YouTube Hit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    YouTube
    Christian Wisecarver's "Granite State of Mind"

    A music video that pokes fun at and pays tribute to New Hampshire has become a YouTube hit, and it all started with swapping "Salem" for "Harlem."

    Christian Wisecarver's "Granite State of Mind" has been viewed more than 200,000 times since he posted it online Wednesday. The video is a parody of "Empire State of Mind," rapper Jay-Z's tribute to New York.

    Wisecarver, who grew up in Atkinson and now lives in Hampstead, about 45 miles north of Boston, said he knew the video would be popular but he was surprised at how fast it has spread.

    "I didn't factor in people in New Hampshire wanting other people to see it," he said Friday. "I think the New Hampshire pride thing is a big part of it."

    Wisecarver, 32, works for a video production company in Massachusetts but created the video with his side business, The Super Secret Project.

    He spent about a week writing the lyrics, starting by finding words in the Jay-Z original that he could replace with similar-sounding New Hampshire references, turning "I used to cop in Harlem" into "I used to shop in Salem." The result was a 5-minute ode to everything from the state liquor stores dotting the highways to the poetry of Robert Frost, who wrote some of his best-known poems, such as "Mending Wall" and "Ghost House," while at his family farm in Derry in the early 1900s.

    New Hampshire notables from "The Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger and statesman Daniel Webster to comedian Adam Sandler get nods. All corners of the state are covered, and all seasons.

    "We like to say whatsup guy, its the way we say hi/In February it is good to know a plow guy," raps Wisecarver, who's joined by singer Holly Winchell crooning, "New Hampshire/If you dont want to wear a helmet/Theres nothin they can do."

    Wisecarver wasn't the first to spoof the Jay-Z song. Other "State of Mind" parodies include versions about Georgia, Minnesota, the New Jersey shore and Boca Raton, Fla. A "D.C. State of Mind" spoof features a President Barack Obama impersonator.