Jay-Z Explains What Inspired His “Paradise” Verse
Fresh off his family vacation, Jay-Z gave London Town a show when he performed with Coldplay at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony Sunday night.
According to THR, it was a star-studed occasion as he also performed “Run This Town” with Rihanna.
He then took to his Life+Times blog to break down the lyrical significance of his “Paradise” verse.
“The thought behind the verse is, anyone with a disability, just wants a sense of normality – that’s why they’re competing in these games. That was the idea to make the verse as inclusive for as many people, and to make it as normal as possible. It’s influenced by so many different things. There are parts that are influenced by Gabby Douglas, there are parts that are influenced by Ryan Lochte, and by Serena Williams.”
On the track, he raps:
I deserve a gold medal, get on my level/
I deserve platinum plaques, to match my bezel/
I walk around with five rings [“five rings” being the Olympic Rings], so pimpish/
Welcome to the Paralympics/
It’s paradise, this is the story of Gabby/
It’s paradise, it’s paradise/
Tears in her eyes, she sacrificed, he sacrificed, she paid the price/
This is everything, everything she ever dreamed/
She had nightmares she wouldn’t be here, she made the team/
From the projects to the podium, accepting awards with my Rollie on/
Gettin’ Gold medals with my grill in [Ryan Lochte, obviously]/
C-walking, cause all they see is a villain [Serena, obviously]/
More belts than Phelps, Merry Christmas, my presence is felt/
Gold medals around my throat/
You can take everything, except the hope of reaching paradise.
“It can relate to everybody. ‘You can take everything,’ means whether through some tragedy you lost a limb, like an arm or a leg. Or, it could be something like you lost the mortgage to your house. That’s pretty much the idea.”
Check out the performance below.