The Louvre. It sells itself, doesn't it? A world famous home to relics of past civilisations and the majestic works of the finest artists in history. When you hear "the Louvre", it immediately conjures up images in your mind of ancient artifacts, magnificent paintings, and that summer everyone went Dan Brown crazy and copies of The Da Vinci Code were more common on public transport than the Metro. There are probably not many people out there who would not visit The Louvre if they had the chance. Ergo, you would not think the Louvre needs to make bizarre sponsored content with popstars just to get punters through the door.
And yet, the world is very weird and wonderful place. That's the only way to explain this utterly bizarre Will.i.am song that the actual Louvre Museum uploaded to their official Dailymotion channel last night, featuring Nicole Scherzinger… As the Mona Lisa.
First let's just look at the song, which is called "Smile Mona Lisa", on its own merit. It's kind of a banger? The beat is a bit Crystal Waters and although the lyrics are pure patented Will.i.am nonsense, it's a vibe that fully makes sense in a post-"Where Are Ü Now" world. The chorus, though? Is it inspired or is it shit? Is it both? It's certainly just endless, semi-operatic warbling and vocalising by way of Nicole Scherzinger proving she can moderately sing scales. Partly recorded inside the Louvre itself and reportedly taking five years (FIVE YEARS) to finish, this song is Will.i.am's awesome-to-bollocks ratio condensed into one track. Yeah, he wrote "Ordinary People", but he is also responsible for "It's My Birthday, Dirty Bit" and "Hall Of Fame".
And the video? Mona Scherzy (and, briefly, Scherzy with a Pearl Earring), blinking coyly and smiling enigmatically as Will.i.am superimposes himself into any number of famous works on display in the Louvre. The paintings are observed by members of the Black Eyed Peas. It's a metaphor, right? But for WHAT?
The thing about this video is: it only exists because Will.i.am and Nicole Scherzinger exist. Sure, the Louvre would still have all that "sponsored content" money. They might even have that exact same brief. But this media could only be realised, sorry, WOULD only be realised by these two people, who are both so outrageously ridiculous that at times they transcend accidentally into utter genius. Genius like this video, which is a work of art. I think.