“California Gurls” came out of a very simple place: as a response to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ massive hit “Empire State of Mind.” While “Empire” was incredibly New York, with a sweeping chorus and plenty of Big Apple references, Perry’s ode to her home state was glossy and shiny and featured Cali MC Snoop Dogg.
Perry said the song is just what California needed. “[California girls] are different,” she said about Teenage Dream’s debut single. “That’s why there needed to be a song about them. I felt like there’s something in the water. Like, you know the boys always dream about maybe dating a California girl, just because we’ve got the sun shining through 365 days a year.”
According to the song, Cali not only has the sun, it also has palm trees, sun-kissed skin and girls so hot they will well melt your Popsicle. That is pretty scalding! Perry’s intent was to conjure up sexy images about her beloved state.
“When I came up with the idea of ’California Gurls,’ it was because I was a little bit jealous of all the love that was given to the East Coast, and I thought for sure Tupac was rolling in his grave, and the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson was totally upset … like, ’What is up with that?’ ” she said.
Perry took it upon herself to do them proud. “I thought it would be perfect timing for a California anthem, and especially one from a female perspective, because there’s never really ever been a female perspective about California,” she said. “And everyone wondered about our little state.”
Don’t get Perry wrong: She means no disrespect to her East Coast counterparts. “I love New York girls,” she clarified. “I think they’re hot, and I think they have a lot of attitude, but I’m telling you: When it comes wintertime, they’re all gonna be singing ’California Gurls.’ ”
Do you think “California Gurls” was a fitting response to “Empire State of Mind”? Let us know in the comments!