David Knight - 20th July 2017

Jay-Z's huge mea culpa 4:44 is now accompanied by a remarkable film by TNEG that takes on the weightiest of issues, and challenges the boundaries of what a music video can be.

TNEG is Arthur Jafa, Elissa Blount-Moorhead and Malik Sayeed, who formed the company in 2014 as a film studio to create a new kind of black cinema. Jafa, whose work is currently being shown in the A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler gallery in London, made a short film last year Love is the Message, the Message is Death, that is the precursor to this video - a collage, described as "a crucial ode to black America" by The New Yorker, set to a Kanye West track.

Jafa has also become a collaborator with Beyoncé and Solange, and now Jay-Z, whose courage in opening up on 4:44 is matched by the visuals. TNEG forges the personal with the political, the whole black experience, and it's a bloody triumph. 

David Knight - 20th July 2017

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