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JAY-Z & Jesse Williams Open Up About Love On ‘4:44’ Bonus Video


JAY-Z has just released a new video to accompany 4:44 called "Footnotes for 4:44." The video features celebrities like Will Smith, Anthony Anderson, Jesse Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Mahershala Ali, JAY-Z, and others talking about heartbreak, vulnerability, and relationships between black men and black women and how they have learned to navigate them.

The video opens with a powerful line from Chris Rock saying, "Everyone wants to feel needed on some level."

JAY-Z comes in at about the one-minute mark explaining some of the lyrics behind 4:44's titular song, "4:44."

"4:44" is the fifth song on JAY-Z's newest album. JAY-Z said he thinks it's one of the best songs he's ever written in an interview with iHeart Radio when the album dropped on June 30, 2017.


He said,

The entire album touches on racial inequality, fatherhood, his infamous fight with Solange, his mother's coming out, and leaving behind a lasting legacy, but "4:44" is specifically about the fact that he cheated on Beyoncé and all that followed.

On rebuilding his relationship with Beyoncé, he said,

He continued,

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Grey's Anatomy star and activist Jesse Williams also had some powerful words about the rumors surrounding his recent divorce from wife Aryn Drake-Lee, who has has two children with.

The unconfirmed gossip said the split was due to Williams having an affair with Friday Night Lights actress Minka Kelly.

He said,


The men in the video discuss the unfair standard black men are held to saying they need to "be a man" by not showing any emotions whatsoever, as showing emotion makes you look "weak." But that's not reality.

Men are just as complex and emotional as women, and saying the "right" way to be a man is to suppress all of those feelings is harmful. Many of the men go into detail about what it took for them to learn how to be OK with being emotionally vulnerable with their partners and themselves.

Kendrick Lamar touched on that by saying,


Most of the shots in the video show all of the men sitting in a circle together in what looks to be a recording studio.

The video is about 11 minutes long, and it clearly was created as a visual supplement for the deeply emotional honesty conveyed throughout all of 4:44.