Mahershala Ali

Watch JAY-Z’s Short Film for ‘Adnis’

JAY-Z explores fatherhood in the short film for “Adnis,” a bonus cut that only appears on the physical version of his critically-acclaimed 13th album 4:44.

Shot in black and white, the highly-anticipated video stars Mahershala Ali as a boxer and Danny Glover as his trainer, who weaves in and out of the clip. If Ali’s character is meant to represent JAY, then perhaps Glover is playing the role of his dad, symbolically appearing and disappearing throughout. Meanwhile, Hov reflects on his own late father Adnis Reeves with his rhymes.

“Letter to my dad that I never wrote,” he raps. “Speeches I prepared that I never spoke / Words on a paper that I never read / Proses never penned, they stayed in my head.”

Once believed to be a full-length feature film, the cinematic clip has been long-awaited. Fans may recall that it was teased as the first glimpse into 4:44, before JAY-Z’s album was even announced.

Like “The Story of O.J.” before it, “Adnis” was directed by Mark Romanek. Beyond his heralded work with Hova, which includes “99 Problems,” the famed director has also collaborated with a variety of musical acts, including Beyoncé, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, and Linkin Park.

“Adnis” joins “Blue’s Freestyle/We Family,” and the James Blake-assisted “ManyFacedGod” as bonus songs on the physical version of 4:44, which is out now. It follows visuals for “4:44,” “The Story of O.J.,” “BAM,” and “Kill Jay Z.”