CINÉMA VÉRITÉ: Ni**as in Paris
A crew of masked graf heads show Jay-Z and Kanye West what’s really hood in Paris, with their take on the popular “Watch the Throne” song.
When I first heard Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris”, I loved how it encapsulated the idea of how in 2011, the patrons of Hip-Hop collectively exhaled a sigh of relief because the culture had finally taken over mainstream. An era silently, but long-anticipated by the godfathers and purveyors of the culture, who patiently hustled until the now— yes, the song boldly says, we have arrived. Or at least Jay and Ye have; finding themselves in Paris ballin’ so hard, when they’re not even supposed to be there. I get it; defying the odds and the competition by leaps and bounds to the point where mutherfuckers want to find you. But Paris? We’ve been to Paris… “Ni**as” were definitely born and bred in Paris… so what do our francophone brethren say to the Watch the Throne anthem that doesn’t include (nor is it meant to; “Ni**as in Paris” is about the American dream) their perspective?
My friends, a legendary graffiti and production crew out in Paris (who shall remain nameless), sent me an uncensored, docu-music video they created in homage to the song, and in effort to show what cats in Paris are really up to these days. In true cinéma vérité style, they masked themselves before going underground to shoot a seven-day takeover of their beloved city. Welcome to the jungle.