By Rob Markman
“N—as in Paris” has been on heavy rotation since Jay-Z and Kanye West debuted their Watch the Throne album last summer, and even more so during their WTT tour where they played the song multiple times every night. On Thursday (February 9) the visuals to accompany “N—as in Paris” finally premiered and The Throne used vocals from their live concert to spice up the clip.
The “Paris” video, which was released Thursday, compiles tour footage and features live audio that replaces the original recorded version fans are already familiar with. The idea is to bring the Watch the Throne Tour to fans who didn’t get to make it out to the legendary run or those who simply want to relive it all over again.
For those familiar with Watch the Throne’s third track, the changes are noticeable from the get-go. The video’s sound bed begins with Jay-Z addressing a stadium filled with fans. “Y’all ready to leave?” he asks. “Well ‘Ye not ready to leave.”
“Any Jay’s not ready to leave,” Kanye adds. “It’s only one thing left to do. Again!”
On that cue, the Yeezy-directed clip jumps into full gear, and the remixed version of “Paris” begins. The first difference is the sliding electric piano laid atop the track’s all-too-familiar opening bounce melody. It’s not the first time West has switched up a mix for a video. In 2009, when he dropped the visuals for “Paranoid” from 808s & Heartbreak, he added new synths to enhance the sound of the record.
The real gem of the live remix comes from Hov and Yeezy’s vocal performances. Jay’s verses now sound more hyped up and energetic; there is a grit in his voice that we just don’t get from his studio recordings. The ad libs and interaction between the two MCs is key as well. As Jay raps, “I ball so hard mother—-ers wanna fine me,” ‘Ye backs him up, shouting, “Haaa!” after each line to hype the experience up. Hova returns the favor when Yeezy spits his 16 by riffing, “Go, go, go, go!” repeatedly.
There is absolutely no replacing the original “N—as in Paris,” and it isn’t likely that the video version of the hit record will make a dent in many DJs’ playlists. Still, the new “Paris” keeps things fresh and enhances the video-watching experience. How cray is that?