LONDON - An online parody of a Jay-Z hit that swaps New York's metropolis for a modest Welsh port town has won hundreds of thousands of fans, the director of the spoof said Wednesday.
The video "Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)," a comic tribute to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' 2009 single "Empire State of Mind," has been viewed more than 1.65 million times on You Tube and drawn praise for its witty lyrics. Ymerodraeth is the Welsh word for empire.
Morgan Jane Delaney, a 24-year-old filmmaker, shot a near frame-by-frame recreation of the original music video, but in the less glamorous surroundings of the south Wales city — about 140 miles (220 kilometer) west of London.
She said the concept began as a private joke with her boyfriend and their comedian friend, but soon snowballed into a film project.
"We just started singing different place names instead of New York, just as a joke, and we thought that Newport was funny. I don't really know why I decided to go the whole hog and make a film of it, but it just seemed like fun," the director said.
"When you're in Newport. Chips, cheese, curry makes you feel brand new, washed down with a Special Brew," the lyric reads, referring to a local fast-food meal and Special Brew, a type of super-strength beer.
The spoof, filmed last month, quickly won some high-profile fans — including British singer Lily Allen, who posted a link to the film on her Twitter account.