NEW YORK — The set of Jay-Z's "La-La-La (Excuse Me Again)" clip at the Metropolitan Pavilion Wednesday night was inspired by Miami's posh hot spot B.E.D. but looked more like a king's lair. (Click here for photos from the video shoot.)
Like B.E.D., there were no chairs or tables for the club scene, just huge beds with Jay and Roc family members Memphis Bleek, Twista, Beanie Sigel, Kanye West and Young Chris mingling with about 20 girls. They were eating grapes, drinking liquor and moving to the beat.
"Memph Bleek, smoke some of that la, la, la,/ Beanie Sigel, Desert Eagle, the 45/ It's the Roc, please sing our lullaby," said Jay, his verse filling the room as he lip-synced the lyrics.
"[For] the first 'Excuse Me Miss,' what Little X did was a dope video," said "Excuse Me Again" director Chris Robinson early in the evening. "This is like part two. This one is a little more street, a little more disrespectful. 'Excuse Me Miss' was beautiful, classy suit and ties. This one is a grimy level. It's a little bit more Brooklyn, a little bit more Harlem."
"La-La-La" is the lead single off of the upcoming "Bad Boys II" soundtrack, which is being put out by Jay's good friend, P. Diddy. Besides the beautiful women and cameos from Puffy, DJ Clue and Jacob the Jeweler, we'll also see some scenes from the movie when the video airs.
"The first scene of the video is at the Hit Factory where you see Jay coming in with the Roc-A-Fella artists," Robinson said. "Jay is in the booth and you see how the song is constructed in his mind. How it goes [is] from his mind to the mic to the mixing board to the speakers. We parallel that to action in the movie. The second scene in the video will be on the street with Jay. He's riding down the street, he sees a girl. Although they're [on] familiar ground [that] we've covered in videos, I wanted to do them differently. We did a couple of different things with the camera. We wanted to make sure it is just as big and bad as the movie, especially since movie footage is incorporated into the video."
It doesn't get any bigger and badder than the combination of Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. The two rap heavyweights, who have worked together on several occasions, said that although it was nothing new for them to align themselves on a project, this one was extra special.
"Basically, we got the new deal with Universal [Records]," said Diddy, who came in later in the night and stood side by side with Jigga, who was flanked by Loon, Sigel, Beanie, West and Robinson. "We decided to launch it in a big way with the 'Bad Boys II' soundtrack. I needed some help. I called on my friends. I called Jay and the Roc to be on the first single, they came out and supported. I appreciate it, that's what friendship is about. The only way we can be powerhouses is by sticking together. This really meant a lot to me."
"We're having a good time," Jay said about the shoot. "I want people to understand that it's much bigger than the song. We're setting a precedent right now. Two young black entrepreneurs coming together and doing their thing."
"This right here, respect it for what it is," P.D. continued. "The superpowers getting together. It's a lot of love here. I appreciate it. I'm launching the next era of Bad Boy and it's kind of strange for another crew to come and help me out, but it's real and something that should be promoted in a real way. It's a beautiful thing. We just gonna keep on doing it."
"La-La-La" is one of a plethora of records Jay-Z has on the radio right now. Besides his sequel song, there's his own song "Stop," and his guest appearances on Talib's "Get By" remix, Memphis Bleek's "Everything's a Go," Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love," Panjabi MC's "Beware of the Boys" and Pharrell Williams' "Frontin'." Not to mention the fact that the original "Excuse Me Miss" is still getting plenty of airplay.
"I just love music," Jigga modestly said about his recording overdrive. "I just wanted to work."
The "Bad Boys" soundtrack comes out July 15 and features tracks by 50 Cent, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Timberlake and Nelly (see "50 Cent, Biggie, Justin Timberlake On 'Bad Boys 2' Soundtrack").