By the time you read this in America, Jay-Z and Kanye West will be taking the stage in France for another date on the European leg of their Watch The Throne tour. That means, in true meta fashion, the superstar rap duo will, for the first time, perform "Niggas In Paris"... in Paris.
It's a benchmark for the genre's long-standing obsession with the pristine French city. Ricky Powell took a now-iconic photo of Run-D.M.C. in front of the Eiffel Tower when they visited over two decades ago. More recently, A$AP Rocky shot a video there and MCs like Tyga and Young Jeezy put together extensive vlogs documenting their Parisian excursions.
Like most examples of exhibitionism in hip-hop, the desire to show off one's experience in Paris comes from a place of aspiration. International travel is a sign that you've made it, and few places are more globally recognizable than Paris. Plus, you can buy a lot of Louis Vuitton there. Continue reading for a complete look at rap's 25-year relationship with the City of Light.
Written by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo)