Sunday, June 3, 2012

Niggas in Paris: Hip-Hop still inspires

"If you escaped what I escaped you'd be in Paris getting f***ed up too!" - Jay-Z

From the first time I heard that line, I adopted NIP as my anthem. Beyond the hard beat and Kanye's amazing wordplay (that ish cray), this song captures the energy I feel everytime I begin a journey or touch down in a new country. After experiencing the epic-ness of Watch The Throne in Paris I realize I am def not alone.

From the moment I touched down I met countless African-Americans who had never traveled before but were so inspired by that one song that they wanted to be "Niggas In Paris" but not in the way you think. It wasn't about living out bad stereotypes of black folks while being in Paris. It was about celebrating us in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

We could've easily gone to see the show in London or Berlin but I wanted to embrace everything in that song from the city that inspired it. I tend to shy away from the term nigga, preferring the more "colloquial" term *ninja* lol. However, something about the movement in Paris made me finally get the idea that using the term could be a way of turning it on its head. I still dont support that as the best way forward but I get it.

Yeezy and Hov performed NIP for a record breaking 11 times and I promise between the crowd surfing of the producer, the mosh pits orchestrated by Jay from the stage, and me and my girl Tiffany giving the crowd near us everything they needed by reaching level 10 everytime the song came on this was by far THEE BEST concert experience I've ever had.

Paris itself was fantastic. Of course the monuments and museum's we've all mastered from the DaVinci code were great but I also checked out the black history of the city making sure to stop by the Left Bank, Latin Quarter, and Montparnasse to see where Langston, Josephine, and Paul got inspiration during the Harlem Renaissance. I even walked past the Sarbonne where Paros supported Martin Luther King Jr. With a civil rights march of its own. I attempted to see the monument to the end of slavery in Luxemborg Gardens but learned that it was blown down by a storm the week before *side eye*.

On my Emirates flight out I caught the Visionaries feature on who coincidentally recorded the guitar acoustics for his song "Mona Lisa Smile" at the Louvre in front of the Mona Lisa!!!! Throughout the doc he kept saying "I'm a black kid from LA, is this a dream?!" I FEEL YOU WILL! I say the same thing.

It's not a dream though, it's about making your real life the vision you dream of. We may not have Jay-Z, Kanye West, or money but we can have their work ethic and fearlessness to shape our experience on this earth into what we want it to be.

Check a few shots from Paris and follow me on instagram for even more.

Ciao! I've got a flight to catch:)


  1. Yo, that is one of the best Eiffel Tower pictures I've ever seen. Bar none!
    With so many of you posting on Facebook while there, I felt so close to the action. I hardly ever envy people when they travel, but I definitely felt a little of that with y'all.
    I'm glad I could follow your journey and your description here brings it even closer.
    Great write up!

    1. Thank you so much it was an amazing experience!!! I really wanted to capture what I felt right away because I was literally blown away by what that meant:) Thank you for sharing your amazing journeys...I'm going to the Phillipines in two days and hope I can get some beautiful Asia pics like the ones you always share!