The Story and Meaning behind Run This Town by Jay Z featuring Kanye west and Rihanna

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Run This Town is a song by the American rapper Jay Z released on 24th July 2009. It features Rihanna and Kanye West.

The song won Grammy Award for the Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Song Review and Meaning

Jay Z has a knack of finding incredible talent. He got both Rihanna and Kanye signed and both of them went on to become giant superstars.

The song talks about how power and influence in general. There are also hints in the lyrics and symbols in the video to understand it more clearly.

Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye all had humble beginnings but they rose to prominence and went on to dominate not only the music industry but also the world in general.

Music has a lot of influence and they know that people listen to them, admire them and feel inspired by them. Music helped them reach a position that others probably never imagined they would reach.

As popular figures, they have power, money and all the connections required in this world. Their fame helped them create businesses in other walks of life as well. So, when Rihanna says ‘we’re gonna run this town’ it implies having influence to a point where in you control the society.

All of them while bragging about their wealth and accomplishments also emphasize certain aspects. Jay Z talks about building a family and how connections bring you power. While Kanye’s verse is introspective talks about the how it feels once you reach the top. Rihanna is talking about the importance of pushing forward in crisis to reach the top.

The music video was filmed at the historic Fort Trotten Park in Queens, New York City. It depicts Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna performing in the midst of what seems like an mob of people wanting to revolt and create chaos. It was directed by Anthony Mandler, who earned Jay-Z’s respect with his work on the “Umbrella” video.

There’s a tone and feeling to the song. There’s a militia, a march and a kind of rambunctious energy to it that, for me, I immediately wanted to tap into. I showed [Jay] some references from the classic rebellious zones of the world. We live in a very orderly society in America, but when you get into Brazil, you get into the Middle East, you get into Africa, you get into Eastern Europe, when you get into places like that, there’s a different sort of ‘we run this town’ [going on]. There’s less order and more chaos. So we looked at a lot of those references, new photos and historical photos, to capture that kind of falling-apart feeling.

Anthony Mandler on ‘Run This Town’

Overall, a very entertaining song to listen to. The song was quite ahead of its time and the things they talked about are relevant even today. All three of them did a great job on the lyrics. The rhythm and melody was on point as well.

Let me know what you think of the song in the comments below.

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