While I may not have been the biggest fan of Watch the Throne overall, I have to admit that “Ni**as in Paris” was one of my favorite tracks of the year. A killer synthesizer beat, Will Farrell samples, and of course the glorious interplay of Hova and Ye combined to make one of the most fun songs on the year. While the single’s been on the radio since September, Jay-Z and Kanye are just now dropping the song’s video, debuting today on YouTube’s Vevo and comprised of footage from their December 13 tour ending stop at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Now before you groan about this being a live footage music video, take a second to actually watch it. Then tell me if you’re still disappointed. Rather than just intersperse footage of performances and screaming fans, the duo runs it all through a digital kaleidoscope from hell, with the end result being a visually striking and rather inventive four minute companion to the track. They also use the actual live audio, so you really get a sense of the energy and passion of the two when they’re feeding off tens of thousands of screaming fans (even if the arpeggiating keyboard kind of annoys me).
The video gets pretty, shall we say, “cray” in its final moments, featuring clouds, city buildings, Roman statues, and panthers (?), but somehow it just makes sense in context. Whether you were a fan of Watch the Throne or not, you have to admit one thing: Hova and Ye sure as hell know how to entertain.