Watch Behind the Scenes Footage From Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” Video
JAY-Z once again proved he has his finger on the pulse of race relations and pop culture when he released the visual for his 4:44 cut, "Moonlight," a video that reinvents the uber-popular Friends sitcom in the image of black actors and actresses. Now, he's also dropped off some behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot. Check it out below.
In the clip, we see Tessa Thompson, who takes on the role of Friends character Monica, discussing the poignance of the new vid, which she says focuses on race and culture.
"We wanted to have a conversation about diversity and inclusion, which is something that is really ripe in the cultural conversation at this moment and I thought, to be able to do it in an artful way, to be able to do it with such talented cohorts and in a way that's created and open to interpretation can be so interesting," Thompson explains.
The new visual sees Issa Rae play the role of Rachel, Lil Rel Howery playing Joey, Lakeith Stanfield as Chandler, Jerrod Carmichael acting as Ross, Tiffany Haddish as Phoebe and again, Thompson as Monica.
In the clip, which features barely exaggerated versions of typical Friends scenes, we see the talented group of actors recreating the water fountain scene that crosses the screen in the original opening for the show. Whodini’s “Friends” plays in the background instead of the original Friends theme.
The behind-the-scenes footage also finds Hov giving his take on both the song and video for "Moonlight." "The hook is, 'We stuck in La La Land; even if we win we gon' lose, and obviously, it's like a subtle nod to La La Land winning the Oscar then having to give it to Moonlight," Hov explains. "And it's really a commentary on the culture and where we're going. You know? This is a theme with [4:44]. Like, we winning big, it looks like we're winning, but we're not really winning. Even when we win we gon' lose."
In a new interview with Vulture, the video's director Alan Yang says Hov apparently wanted to cry after he read the treatment for the video. "It all happened so fast," says Yang of the video coming together. "Chaka [Pilgrim, President of Roc Nation] came back to New York and I had to sell her on it a little bit because it’s such an insane idea. I don’t think she was super familiar with Friends, it’s not her jam, but I was like, 'trust me, it’s a very popular show and this will be a weird but interesting thing for us to work on. It’s a provocative idea and I really believe in it.' So she sent the treatment to Jay and, I don’t know if this is true, but she said he really liked it. And then later, when we were deep into production, she pulled me aside and told me that after he finished reading the treatment, he felt like he wanted to cry. That’s a good sign!"
Check out the behind-the-scenes footage for yourself below.
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) August 7, 2017