First I saw Issa Rae’s Instagram post. She wrote, “Two things I NEVER thought I’d be able to say: 1) I’m playing Rachel in ‘Friends.’ 2) I’m in a Jay-Z video with some of the funniest/dopest black people ever.” Just look at this glorious post:
Turns out, Jay-Z put out a video for his song “Moonlight” from 4:44, and it features Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Issa Rae (Insecure), Tessa Thompson (Creed), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) and Lakeith Stanfield (Crown Heights) in a black remake of one of the whitest shows on TV—Friends.
The cast takes a break and Carmichael walks off the set to talk to fellow comedian Hannibal Buress, who tells him he thinks the show is “garbage.” He goes on to say, “Who asked for this? What are you going to do next? A black Full House?”
Buress’ words are harsh and obviously sink into Carmichael’s mind—when back on set, he’s distracted and then led back off set with Rae (who looks stunning when she finally gets dressed). Jay-Z’s words roll in, and they feel like they’re a part of Carmichael’s thoughts: “We stuck in La La Land/Even when we win, we gon’ lose.”
And then we hear it: the audio from the 2017 Oscars when Warren Beatty announced La La Land as the winner for best picture, when that victory, that moment, belonged to Moonlight. The Oscar-winning genius of Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Moonlight won that night, but they were reminded, as black people constantly are, that they’re still not winners ... while winning.
Master of None co-creator Alan Yang directed this cerebral, sitcom-esque video, and you can see it if you have Tidal. Otherwise, you have to wait until next week. Until then, here are a few snapshots from the video: