Rapper Jay-Z has created a powerful short to accompany a bonus track from his new album 4:44. The video for Adnis stars Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali and veteran star Danny Glover in a moody black and white boxing sequence.
Unfortunately, due to Mr Beyoncé going with the tide – or rather streaming company Tidal – you can’t access the full flick unless you’re a subscriber. However a sweat-drenched teaser is available to view if you’re not signed up which gives you a good idea of what to expect:
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) June 19, 2017
Adnis is the artist’s response to the death of his father in 2003, with Ali and Glover clearly representing the generations. The piece can’t help but remind you of Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese‘s monochrome chronicle of fighter Jake LaMotta‘s life. Adding to the cinematic feel is the presence of director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), whose work spans both movies and promos.
Usually when a big star releases a tie-in film of this nature the lines between genuine emotion and the hawking of wares become all too clear. However this deeply personal story is given a low key yet memorable treatment. Should the producer have made his efforts more freely available? Perhaps. For me the main thing is that he has used short form in a way that will reach a wide audience, at the same time demonstrating what can be achieved in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the two hour plus product-fests of Hollywood studios.