We’ve marveled at Lemonade. We’ve widened our eyes in shock at the admissions on 4:44. Beyonce and Jay-Z have given the world a musical tour of their marriage at its worst.
Until now, however, we’ve only heard Beyonce and Jay-Z use their art to tell the story separately.
As you’ll see in the video below, “Family Feud” may be the Beyonce/Jay-Z collaboration that we’ve all been waiting to see.
Whether you hold up Beyonce as a paragon of musical talent or consider her good but overrated (if you do, don’t say so out loud, or you’ll summon the wrath of the beyhive), you have to agree about this:
Beyonce may have reinvented the art of music video storytelling.
The production value. The concept. The costuming. The motifs. The way that color scheme and lighting match the narrative of the music.
All of those are ways in which top-quality music videos excel and captivate their audiences.
Beyonce took things a step further with Lemonade.
And now, she’s bringing that storytelling excellence to bear with Jay-Z’s “Family Feud.”
His infidelity is no secret, and has not been since Beyonce took us all on a powerful artistic journey with Lemonade.
Only by working through that with her, by going to therapy, by analyzing his actions was Jay-Z able to begin repairing his relationship with Beyonce, which had been corrupted by lies.
In this video teaser, church is front and center — which is what you’d expect from a Christian couple talking about wrongdoing and marriage.
We have to talk about the rich symbolism and the wardrobes, folks. And there’s more to it than “church clothes.”
We see Beyonce clothed in black, at once like a pope, a judgmental nun figure, and also reminiscent of a Sith Lord.
Stationed above Jay-Z, she stands — and glowers, condemning him.
When he sits in the confessional, however, we see Beyonce in a more welcoming outfit, with the white cloth pauldrons and cape coming out of them better suggesting angel wings than a nun’s habit.
Here, she appears ready to listen to what he has to say. Before? She seemed ready to strike him down with her fury and grief.
At the same time, we’ve seen flashes of another couple during all of this.
It seems likely that the man, though definitely not played by Jay-Z, is meant to represent him.
In the video, this man and woman are making out, seemingly in the throws of passion … until the woman stabs him.
Yeah. It’s intense.
As powerful as the narrative and visual metaphors are, we are most of all overwhelmed by Beyonce.
She has this mighty presence on screen that dominates your focus.
When she’s dressed as a regal, powerful woman, that effect is magnified.
The video below is just the teaser. For the full thing, look on Tidal.