One of the most popular songs taken from Jay Z’s Studio Album 4:44. “Family Feud” featuring Beyonce now has visuals for us to enjoy and it’s good…It’s really good. Have a watch below and read @HRoyalThighness’ review below:
When a music video/short film features Omari Hardwick Michael B Jordan and Thandie Newton within the first few seconds – you know it’s time to full screen that bad boy and get the full cinematography effect. If you didn’t then shame on you, watch it again…properly.
The video begins with a quote taken from American Novelist James Baldwin:
“The wretched of the earth do not decide to become extinct, they resolve, on the contrary, to multiply: life is their weapon against life, life is all they have”
The film starts off in the year 2444. A brother and sister (Michael B Jordan and Thandie Newton) fight over their birthright which ends up in the brother being killed. Can I just say, I have never seen Michael B Jordan appear and disappear in a video so quickly in my life, I half expected him to get back up.Anyway, in this song we know that Jay Z repeats the phrase “nobody wins when the family feuds” and I can’t stop myself from making a connection with this act of her ousting her brother over birthrights and this chilling quote from James Baldwin. I don’t believe Jay Z used the quote to suggest we take a leaf out of wretched people’s books (lol), BUT I think it’s food for thought – if they’re multiplying but we’re fighting, who’s winning this race?
We then fast forward to a time where both a black man (Omari Hardwick) and a Native American woman (Irene Bedard) are individually addressed as presidents. Mr President (Hardwick) is questioned about the death of his son, he refuses to speak on this family feud and reminds the interviewer that his family built a legacy and role that protected the law. This one, negative situation shouldn’t ruin everything they worked hard to build.
We then see clips of his ancestors fighting for justice in 2096 (who clocked the robot horse lol). Mr President’s voice reminisces about his ancestors who paved the way for generations to come.He then mentions a notable figure in history who he describes as “one of America’s founding mothers”…And guess who this young woman was. (If you didn’t get goosebumps at this point then you have no soul, I’m sorry)This depiction of Blue Ivy as a grown woman in 2050 leading a boardroom meeting whilst revising the constitution in a room full of mostly women of colour is powerful. I also like the fact she’s wearing her natural hair (maybe an F U to those who mock Blue Ivy’s hair?).
In this particular scene they discuss the Second Amendment which currently protects some US Citizen’s rights to keep and bear guns, Susan Kelechi Watson who plays the future Blue Ivy then compared its complicated loopholes to the 13th Amendment that basically states that slavery and involuntary servitude is wrong unless as a punishment for crime (that’s a blog for another story BUT the director of this music video, Ava DuVernay, has a documentary out called “13th” which breaks this problematic Amendment down – definitely worth checking out). They discuss today’s political issues reflecting on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” tag line, suggesting all it did was divide us and instill fear.
She shares a story her father (Jay Z) once told her as a little girl which takes us back to 2018 where Jay Z performs Family Feud with Beyonce looking all regal on a raised platform in a church. It would have been nice to see Beyonce act in this video or take a more prominent role as the mother, but with an A-list line up of actors and actresses I guess there was no need. The blue headpiece looks stunning though.
If the lyrics didn’t paint the picture enough for us on first listen last year, this video really brings to light how much Jay Z and Beyonce are invested in Blue Ivy’s future, they are actively laying the foundations for her to positively impact other lives, her own people and most of all her family. Jay Z, in my opinion, is stressing the fact that our actions last, there is a future so what are we currently doing to build for that future, right now?
We’d love to know your own thoughts and interpretations, so comment below or tweet us @LengSection
“What’s better than a billionaire? Two. Especially when they’re from the same hue as you”.
List of actors and actresses in Family Feud:
Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson, Janet Mock, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Niecy Nash, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michael B. Jordan, Trevante Rhodes, Thandie Newton, Jessica Chastain, Irene Bedard, Omari Hardwick, David Oyelowo, Emayatzy Corinealdi, America Ferrera, Aisha Hinds, Henry G. Sanders and Storm Reid