New Release: Jay-Z Featuring Beyoncé - Family Feud

December 29, 2017 Critic Jonni 0 Comments

Family Feud (feat. Beyoncé) - Jay-Z |

I was trying my best to find a music video to review for this backdated date, but all that was coming up was this specific music video. Annoyingly, it is claimed to have been released on 29 December 2017; however, the video itself states that it was released on 4 January 2018. According to reports, it was first made available on Tidal before making its way onto YouTube. Either way, I'm not spending any more time trying to find another music video to review, as I don't think any others were released. The song isn't to my liking, yet Beyoncé's riffs are certainly perfection - nothing new there. Watch events unfold from 2444 before going into the past, through generations, to present day where Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Blue Ivy spend time in a church together in this music video for "Family Feud".

Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, is an internationally known rapper. Everyone practically knows who he is and the ones who don't, certainly knows his wife, Beyoncé; she is also the featured singer on this specific song. He is one of the best-selling musicians of all time and has been following a career in music for decades. This song is taken from his 13th studio album titled 4:44. The album was released on 30 June 2017, so technically this isn't a new song; however, the music video is new, hence why I'm using it as my new release blog review. "Family Feud" was written by Shawn Carter, Dion Wilson, Beyoncé Knowles, and Elbernita Clark.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the music video starts off in the future and then goes back in time to present day. It's quite a unique idea, although I bet others have thought of it before him. It has an all-star cast consisting of Trevante Rhodes, Janet Mock, Rashida Jones, Michael B. Jordan, Mindy Kaling, Omari Hardwick, Jessica Chastain, Thandie Newton, Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, America Ferrera, Storm Reid, Brie Larson, Rosario Dawson, Constance Wu, Niecy Nash, Susan Kelechi Watson, Henry Sanders, and Irene Bedard.

It spans almost eight minutes long and starts off with a quote from James Baldwin before starting a narrative in 2444. The score is by Flying Lotus. We watch a man, played by Michael B. Jordan, walk up a flight of stairs, storming into a woman's bedroom, played by Thandie Newton. We presume she is his sister; she's the face of the family and she's still in bed. Micheal B. Jordan's character thinks he should be the face of the family. She's lying in bed with a guy, played by Trevante Rhodes, who gets out and strangles her brother before she stabs him in the side with a knife.

The next scene sees two co-presidents, played by Irene Bedard and Omari Hardwick, being confronted formally about a murder in the family that led to his ascent that refutes his claim for peace. The two co-presidents push back, saying that everyone is family and throughout generations, they've worked together. Omari Hardwick goes on to narrate the rest of the story as we go back in time.

The next scene is almost 300 years ago, in 2148, where we see two protectors keeping watch over a disturbance that hasn't happened in centuries; which they then solve themselves. Back again we go to 2096 where the narrator states: "My family has fought for the law." The clip suggests that in 78 years time a fight will take place that is reminiscent of the cavemen days. America Ferrera appears in this scene. This is followed up by a scene in 2050 which sees a diverse group of women debating. Susan Kelechi Watson plays the adult Blue Ivy Carter, claiming she's one of America's founding mothers. They debate the second amendment - and Susan Kelechi Watson links it to the 13th amendment, which is what the director's Oscar-nominated documentary "13th" is about.

This is where Susan Kelechi Watson takes on a bit of a narrative, introducing us to the present day's scene. She states: "It's like I remember my father saying when I was a little girl. Nobody wins when the family feuds." This is when the actual song finally arrives. Jay-Z can be seen confessing in the church to his wife Beyoncé. She gives some amazing riffs that are added to the backing track. They're both stylish and on-point, fully giving us power-couple vibes in every way.

Overall, this music video focuses more on the film side of this and the story rather than the short song and the clips that go with it. It's cleverly put together but certainly feels long-winded. A long intro before the actual song and the specific clips have been something we've seen many times before, and these sort of music videos come around every few years. It's interesting and engaging, yet there's not enough focusing and understanding going on. Music videos are too short to be turned into films unless done correctly. This just feels like they've tried to compact too much in.
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