Got my niggas in Paris and they going gorillas, huh
(This is the only time that “Niggas in Paris” is actually referenced in the song and it eventually became the title. The change of title contributed to make it a greater hit. It was Kanye’s idea, as the song was recorded in a hotel in Paris.)
Some of the first niggas in Paris were the first American all-black regiment to serve in Europe during WWI. Whilst serving with the French, the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters(most came from New York), faced a dramatically different social climate in France. In America, there was still severe racial prejudice and discrimination, but when they came to France, they were treated like war heroes.
“Going gorillas” is also potentially an oblique reference to the phrase “going bananas,” i.e. going wild.
As was revealed in a later interview, Kanye was in Paris trying to branch out into the fashion world.
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