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Ballad of Beijing

Listen up Beijing, this one's for you!

07·11·2013

Ballad of Beijing

Listen up Beijing, this one's for you!

07·11·2013

It took 15 months to create, but in just one day, “Beijing State of Mind” has already become an online success.

According to theepochtimes.com, the parody of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s  “Empire State of Mind”,  was the joint work of an American expat living in Beijing, a female bar singer, and a photographer. The site reports:

“A rapping American expatriate economic analyst living in Beijing, a singer named Princess Fortier from a band playing at a Beijing hotel bar, and a photographer came together to create the rap video.

The chorus of the song makes reference to the original chorus when Keys sang, “New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothin’ you can’t do,” by paralleling that with the lyrics, “In Beijing, commie jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can do.”

In the third verse, the expatriate rapper rhymes about the kids of migrant workers being shunned, having to pay out of pocket for health care, and having their grandparents take care of their kids instead.”

A number of famous Beijing destinations appear in the video, including The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. Photographer Mark Griffith said in his blog that the hardest part of making the now-viral video was filming in an old imperial garden and central government compound, ZhongNanHai.

“The camera wasn’t even quite level and the focus was off (set on the gate vs. on Andrew) but after that one take we saw a guard walking our way and we just folded things up and walked away.  Arrest or detainment avoided!” he wrote.

Griffith gives a detailed account of producing this video on his blog.

Here’s the YouKu version of the video:

Here’s the YouTube version: