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Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” Music Video Is an All-Black Friends Remake … Sort Of

Even for those of us who grew up loving Friends, there’s a lot that has always stood in the way of being able to fully enjoy the show, especially on modern rewatch. There’s a whole lot of homophobia in the show, some striking transphobia, and, oh yeah, it’s a sea of whiteness. The idea that six people can live in New York for a decade and only come into contact with a handful of POC is ludicrous, exclusionary, and just plain insulting.

If this stood in the way of your enjoyment of the show, you’re gonna want to watch the above clip from the music video for Jay-Z’s single “Moonlight” (as in not La La Land), directed by Master of None co-creator Alan Yang. It features some of the funniest, most talented black actors and comedians working today: Issa Rae, Tessa Thompson, Lil Rel Howery, Lakeith Stanfield, Jerrod Carmichael, and Tiffany Haddish, recreating the famous Inexplicable Fountain Dance theme song montage.

Over on Tidal, where the full video and album are now available, there’s also a clip of the men recreating the opening to the show’s indisputable best episode, “The One Where No One’s Ready.” From the sound of it, this is the lead-in to the song.

From The Root:

“The cast takes a break and Carmichael walks off-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 in to Carmichael’s mind and when back on-set, he’s distracted and then led back off-set with Issa 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.'”

The album is a biting commentary on race and politics, but is also being described in reviews as his “funniest” work to date. So it makes sense that the video would be this fun, while simultaneously serving as its own harsh critique.

If you’re on Tidal, you can see the full video now. Otherwise, it’ll be out for everyone next week.

(via Twitter, image: screenshot)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.