It’s been more than a month since JAY-Z’s latest album, 4:44, broke onto the music scene, and while we’ve grown accustomed to the weekly release of Tidal-exclusive visuals supporting the album, this week’s release carries an extra satirical/nostalgic punch. Starring Issa Rae, Jerrod Carmichael, Tessa Howard, Tiffany Haddish, Lakeith Stanfield, and Lil Rel Howery—plus Hannibal Burress as himself, rolling his eyes at the whole thing—“Moonlight” presents itself as a black version of Friends, ’90s-TV’s “white people hanging out and having fun“ juggernaut. (Specifically, a recreation of the classic episode “The One Where No One’s Ready,” with Carmichael as Ross and Rae as Rachel.)
Complete with its own custom theme song—“Friends,” by Whodini—the video starts out lighthearted, before turning into a sad, almost horrific meditation on the struggles of black creators to craft authentic stories about black life in America, rather than being forced to live in the shadow of white culture. (Not that it’s all doom-and-gloom; there’s also an outtake video that features an extra minute or two of Burress riffing on ways to tell Carmichael his new TV show sucks.) You can watch a preview for the video up above, and see the full thing on Tidal.