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Over the weekend, Jay-Z helped close out the 2012 London Paralympic by joining Coldplay and Rihanna on stage in East London. During the performance, the Brooklyn rapper, mogul and father tagged on an all new verse to Coldplay’s “Paradise” that referred to Serena Williams, Ryan Lochte and named checked gymnast Gabby Douglas.

Wasting no time, Jigga went to his Life + Times site to “decode” the science behind his new 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.”


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.” – JAY Z

This is like a less than 48-hour turnaround time for album liner notes type info. You gotta love social media.


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Photo: New York Times/Cass Bird