Jay-Z releases new music video Moonlight re-imagining TV show Friends with all-black cast
Rapper and music mogul Jay-Z has released another video for his latest album 4:44 for the track titled 'Moonlight' and it has taken the internet by storm. The video is a reenactment of the popular television series Friends, with a twist.
Starring an all-black cast for the first time, Jay-Z has gathered powerful and influential men and women from the entertainment industry and cast them in the iconic roles of Chandler, Monica, Joey, Rachel, Ross and Phoebe.
The video for the song features up and coming stars in the comedy circuit reenacting the famous Friends episode The One Where No One Is Ready word for word. The video is directed by the acclaimed co-creator of Master of None — Alan Yang. However we do not hear the familiar chords of the original friends soundtrack. Instead the background music is the song 'Friends' by the artist Whodini.
Jerrod Carmichael from The Carmichael Show plays Ross, while Issa Rae of the famous HBO show Insecure takes on the role of television's beloved Rachel. Lakeith Stanfield of Atlanta fame essays the role of Chandler, and Tessa Thompson from Creed plays clean freak Monica. Tifanny Haddish from Girls Trip is seen portraying the character of Pheobe, and Lil Rel Howery from Get Out plays our favourite Joey.
The video ends with a not-so-subtle reference to the Oscar's blunder that took place earlier this year. Rae enters the frame and leads Carmichael off the set, and we hear Jay-Z's familiar rapping entering our ears singing the line “We stuck in La La Land/Even when we win, we gon’ lose.” This line as well as the song's title is an allusion to incident wherein the academy award for Best Picture was wrongly announced as going to the Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling musical La La Land instead of the actual winner — Moonlight, stealing the limelight from the cast and crew of the Barry Jenkins directed film.
Friends made its television debut in 1994 and became an instant hit, elevating the show to the level of a cultural phenomenon, which also earned the cast some of the highest pay cheques to be doled out in Hollywood at the time.
Here is a short teaser of the music video shared on actor Issa Rae's Instagram account