At Closing Ceremony in London, Rihanna Performs 'Run This Town' With All-Star Band
Jay-Z joined Coldplay at Sunday night's Paralympics Closing Ceremony in London and performed and added a new verse to the band's hit, "Paradise.'" The rapper, who one song earlier performed "Run This Town" with Coldplay and Rihanna, references several Olympians in his new verse.
"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."
He took to his website, Life + Times, to "decode" the 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," he said. "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."
He also posted his part in full, with commentary in brackets.
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.
Jay-Z says the lyric "You can take everything" means that "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."
The three-hour event also included Coldplay's performances of "Yellow," "Us Against the World," "The Scientist" and "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall," as well as Rihanna singing "We Found Love" while swinging from a chair above the stage.
An estimated 80,000 screaming fans packed the Olympic Stadium to give the Paralympics a send off in London, ending 11 days of the event, which followed an equally successful Olympic Games.