Today, I’m attending the Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island. As American progressive bloggers gather to discuss all sorts of issues, the discussion will likely touch on the present economic mess happening in the Eurozone. Somewhat recently, France elected the socialist candidate, François Hollande, who famously used Kanye West & Jay-Z’s song “Niggas in Paris” in a political advertisement. When this rap duo recently visited Paris, the entirety of their concert consisted of them playing the song eleven times in a row. Seriously.
This might seem excessive, but I am inclined to defend these two hip-hop moguls: frankly, I’ve always liked the song “Niggas in Paris”. On my website, I even listed it as one of the top songs of 2011:
Utilizing two sound-bytes from Blades of Glory, Jay-Z and Kanye West make a self-parodied song, frankly, about nothing. The synth-inspired beat with a dubstep drop aside, the lyrics of this single could not be more ironic. As millions of people blast this song with unquestionable seriousness, this dynamic duo is off somewhere laughing. Their point was to create something “provocative” that no one “knows what it means,” “that gets the people going,” as their sample of Will Farrell puts it, effectively commenting on the current state of hip-hop. Oh, and the beat is amazing.
In a track-by-track review of the album, Rolling Stone magazine concurs:
Jay and Ye come in hard over a slow, menacing beat and icy synthesizer notes, but regardless, this cut is mostly memorable for including an unexpected sample of dialogue from the underrated Will Ferrell/Jon Heder ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory. “No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative,” says Ferrell with deep conviction, essentially summing up the art of hip-hop lyrics.
I’m not quite sure if I would actually pay hundreds of
dollars Euros to hear Mr. Carter and Mr. West pretend to be a broken record player. However, one must appreciate the gumption to go out on a stage and perform a song eleven times in a row. The nerve, the cajones, and the panache? I cannot think of a better way to exemplify the swagger of Kanye West and Jay-Z.
I really hope that this doesn’t continue as a trend; it was cool once, but I’m not sure if it’d be cool for a second time. However, I’ve give it to the boys: votre performance était très fresh.