Say what you will, but Will Ferrell is part of why “N****s In Paris” is an awesome song!
It’s one of the biggest — and most inexplicable — hits of 2011, a song so popular that its hook was name-checked during player introductions on Sunday Night Football, so massive that Jay-Z and Kanye West have taken to performing it multiple times per set on their Watch the Throne Tour.
We’re talking, of course, about “N—as in Paris,” the max-impact Throne single that has become a sensation, thanks in no small part to producer Hit-Boy’s bouncing beat, West’s pop-cult wordplay (“What’s that jacket, Margiela?”) and, of course, a pair of oddball samples taken from Will Ferrell’s 2007 figure-skating comedy “Blades of Glory.”
As you’re probably aware, “Paris” kicks off with Ferrell’s grizzled Chazz Michael Michaels defiantly declaring, “We’re gonna skate to one song and one song only,” then really picks up steam mid-song, when (in a move that could alternately be described as “completely inspired” or “completely insane”), Hit-Boy drops the beat and lets the song roll on a second Ferrell sample: ” No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative … it gets the people going!”
And, indeed, it has done just that. “Paris” currently sits atop Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B Charts, dominates urban radio and has received a thunderous response at Throne shows. And, thanks to Ferrell’s contributions, it’s certainly one of the oddest mainstream hip-hop tracks in recent history too. And if you’re wondering how the whole thing came to be, well, you’re not the only one: Turns out, Ferrell’s pretty mystified by the track too, as he told MTV News in an email Tuesday (November 8).
“Kanye reached out to me and I said, ‘Of course,’ ” Ferrell wrote. “I was completely flattered when they asked if they could sample me into the song … and when I heard it for the first time, I just started to laugh because it felt so surreal. But I really did like the song.”
Gotta give credit where it’s due, we’re not sure what inspired Kanye to use that sample but dammit it was brilliant.