Last week Jay-Z released his 13th studio album, 4:44. Today he released the first official music video from the LP on YouTube, an animated black-and-white visual for “The Story of O.J.”
The song is built around a sample of Nina Simone’s “Four Women” from the 1966 album Wild Is the Wind, which tells the story of four African-American women with different roles in society but are all defined and held back by their race and a culture built around slavery.
Much like Nina Simone’s narrative, Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” is a racially charged tune with lots of subtext. Jay shared his message behind the song in a track-by-track album breakdown for iHeartRadio:
‘The Story of OJ’ is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger.
There is also an 8+ minute video available exclusively on Jay’s Tidal streaming service called “Footnotes for ‘The Story of O.J.'” Watch an excerpt below, or the whole video if you have a Tidal premium account:
For more, check out Jay-Z’s Zumic artist page.