Arthur Jafa Directed the New JAY-Z Video

A still from the video for JAY-Z’s ‘4:44,’ directed by Arthur Jafa.


Last week, the musician and entrepreneur JAY-Z (which is how you style it now) released 4:44, his first album in four years, exclusively on the Tidal, the music streaming site he co-owns. And a few days later, what appeared on Tidal but an eight-minute collage that serves as the video component to the title track of the album, “4:44,” directed by Arthur Jafa and his production partner, Elissa Blount-Moorhead. (Which means you cannot see it unless you’re a Tidal subscriber.)

The video is a collage much in the style of Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death, the work that Jafa showed last year at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, as well as at his show at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, which is up until September. (The piece is also on view at the Met Breuer in New York.) There’s found footage of police altercations and car crashes, brief clips from interviews with icons such as Eartha Kitt and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and it ends with Jay’s daughter, Blue Ivy, dancing.

Jafa has previously worked with Beyoncé on elements of the video for her song “Formation,” and with her sister, Solange, on the video for her song “Cranes in the Sky.” Non-subscribers can watch the very beginning of the video for “4:44″—the first 44 seconds, naturally—here.

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