Jay Z’s relationship with his father has been a theme in his music for decades, and it’s gradually evolved from outright resentment to acceptance to where it is now, a melancholy reflection over what was and what could have been. It’s one of the most fascinating glimpses at his personal life that he’s given us, especially as he is a father himself now, struggling and dealing with parenthood like his father before him.
As such, it was no surprise when the very first utterances we were able to hear from Jay’s new album 4:44 was a quick stanza about his dad, in a short video titled “Adnis.” Many were surprised when the song didn’t end up on the 10-track album, but it was eventually added as one of three bonus tracks on the physical copies of 4:44, to the delight of fans everywhere. Now, Jay delivers the full-length version of the video that was teased last month, starring True Detective season three star Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover.
The clip is ripe with symbolism, as Glover briefly serves as a fatherly figure, holding a heavy bag as Ali takes vicious swings at the bag. Ali spends most of the video alone, punching the bag by himself and staring into space, longingly and angrily. It’s towards the end when a whether Glover finally steps in, and by then the message of the video is spelled out clearly. Toss Jay’s biting words on top of it all and it makes for an incredible viewing experience and accompanying visual to go with the revealing track.