WATCH: The Powerful Message Behind JAY-Z's 'Friends' Recreation

"Moonlight" is more short film than music video

August 14, 2017
Jay- Z arrives at the 2015 Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrating 'China: Through The Looking Glass' held at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York, NY on May 4th, 2015.

Anthony Behar - SIPA USA

The return of JAY-Z has brought a host of issues to light, both concerns personal to the rapper and larger ills facing society as a whole. In addition to Jay's life, his relationship with wife Beyoncé, and his family, 4:44 examines a topic Jay has never shied away from -- race in America. 

To be honest, the latest video from Hov's 4:44, for the track "Moonlight,is actually more a short film than a typical music video. In fact, only about a minute of the two-and-a-half minute long "Moonlight" can even be heard. However, a lot of people are saying that this video may be the most important message to be learned from Jay's new album.

The video itself begins as what we assume is a sitcom spoofing the hit '90s show Friends, with the all white cast from the '90s recast with black actors, including Issa Rae and Jerrod Carmichael. However, it's when Carmichael's Ross character breaks the so-called "Fourth Wall" to speak to comedian Hannibal Buress that we begin to see the point of the video.  

When the video ends is when we get the lesson that Jay and director Alan Yang had hoped the audience would. It's at the end, as Carmichael goes outside and looks at the moon, and we hear that cringe-worthy moment from the Academy Awards when La La Land was mistakenly announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight, that we realize exactly what Jay means in the song when he rhymes, "We stuck in La La Land. Even when we win, we gon' lose."

Yang says the short film/music video isn't intended to bash Friends, but rather to use one of the most popular television show's in history to take a long, hard look at who we see on our screens.