JAY-Z unleashes three cinematic videos for “Legacy,” “Smile,” and “Marcy Me” off his critically-lauded 13th album, 4:44.
The first of those is a 10-minute mini movie for “Legacy,” which stars Susan Sarandon, Jesse Williams, and Ron Perlman. Written and directed by Jeymes Samuel, the video features a series of inmates who plan “The Carter Escape.”
Aldis Hodge, Kwame Boateng, Edi Gather, Jonathan Tucker, Marque Richardson, and Emile Hirsch also appear in the short film, which focuses on mass incarceration, the prison system, and rehabilitation.
Up next, Jigga unleashes the 8-minute long short film for “Smile.” Written and directed by Miles Jay, the movie tells the story of the song, which is in part about JAY-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, coming to terms with her sexuality.
The mini-movie stars Dominique Fishback as a young Gloria Carter. It also features Isi Laborde, Taylor Thomas, and Guy Lockard in a touching film about Carter’s emotional journey through JAY’s childhood. It also features Carter herself, who shares her “Smile” poem at the end of the touching visual.
Finally, Hov unveils a striking visual for “Marcy Me,” which opens with a police helicopter’s view of New York. The clip follows a bird’s eye view of the boroughs, traveling through sidewalks, following a young boy’s journey to and from a liquor store. It’s also a call back to the name of the song, which references JAY’s beloved Marcy Projects.
UPDATE (Dec 22): Jay-Z has released all three music videos on YouTube.