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Jay Z's music video that parodies Friends has finally been made available on YouTube

For those of us who don’t have TIDAL.

LAST WEEK, JAY Z unleashed Moonlight – his latest music video from his 4:44 album.

It made waves for two reasons: it was a full parody of a famous Friends scene featuring an all-black cast, and loads of people couldn’t see it because – like all his videos – it was a TIDAL exclusive at first.

But this weekend it made its official appearance on YouTube, and it’s great to be finally able to see it*

Source: JayZVEVO/YouTube

*for those who don’t have TIDAL

It features Issa Rae as Rachel, Tessa Thompson as Monica and Jerrod Carmichael, Lakeith Stanfield, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish as the rest of the famous cast – portraying a scene from the episode “The One Where No One’s Ready”.

It was immediately praised for “skewering white culture”

skewr Source: Salon

Picking Friends was no accident, Salon wrote:

By creating a reenactment of “Friends” with black actors in the place of white actors, Jay-Z offers a reminder of and a corrective to the pervasive, exclusionary whiteness of popular culture — a whiteness that played out on one of television’s most popular (and most racially homogeneous) shows.

And the lines being delivered in the exact same way only highlighted that further:

Boxed in an absolutely perfect recreation of the “Friends” set, these amazing black actors are also boxed into white narratives, white ways of talking, white ways of performing with only a few exceptions. It is, the video makes clear, not a victory that they are inhabiting the roles of these formerly white characters — it is a circumscription of their blackness.

It was directed by Master of None‘s Alan Yang, and the video starts with the Friends scene and moves to the actual song once there’s a break in “filming”.

People were just happy they finally got to see what’s been talked about for a while now

For decades, people had been waiting for some more black representation in Friends and they finally got it (in a different way than they thought)

And now everyone can pore over it to their heart’s content.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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