Jay-Z’s latest video has a key figure missing: Jay-Z. According to Hova, this was done in order to let the art speak for itself. Recently, Jay spoke out about the direction of the Jigga-less video and the track. He and the director explained a little about what seems to be confusing so many.
“To me, that song sounded like heroin,” Jigga recently told MTV. “That’s what it sounded like to me. It sounded like somebody like Miles Davis was in a jazz club just high out his mind, just going off playing some of the most amazing freestyle music you ever heard. That’s what it felt like. That’s what happens with drugs. They don’t pound you like that; they talk to you sweet. And that’s the allure of it, and it pulls you in, and that’s what was happening. The lyrics were harmless. It’s like a love song, and so it was pulling you in. Pulling you in further and further until you’ve realized, now you’re addicted to this drug. So that was the method behind why it sounds so sweet.”
Director Phillip Andelman explained why this video was difficult at first.
“At first, I thought it was going to be really challenging, because it was just daunting Ã¢â‚¬â€ the thought of holding your attention for three and a half minutes without Jay, because he’s a huge presence normally…[But] from the get-go, Jay said it would be a distraction if he was in it. And I think he was really right. It winded up allowing us to tell a story.”
The video’s star is Lenny Kravitz’s daughter, Zoe Kravitz. Her performance drives the entire video but its symbolism is lost on some.
“I was just going off the beat of the song. It kind of sparkled. There’s something light and airy about it…But then there’s this dark side of the song. It’s like a Rubik’s Cube on ecstasy,” Andelman explained. “I know it’s bad to push the drug metaphor, but it’s kind of funny. Zoe Kravitz is the girl in it, but we wanted to make it ambiguous as to whether it’s one girl or four girls. No one can be 100 percent sure of what’s going on [in the video]. They all have their own interpretations. And that’s what makes it fun to me. It’s like a riddle, and there’s no right answer or wrong answers. It’s like a three-and-a-half-minute head trip.”