Watch Jay-Z’s Video for Roots-to-Rise Poem “Dream. On.”Photos by Ari Perilstein/Getty, Scott Gries/Getty Music Video Jay-Z
The Budweiser Made in America Festival on Sept. 2-3 will feature a cohort of hip-hop all-stars and start-ups including J. Cole, Solange, Sampha, Lizzo, 21 Savage, Marian Hill and of course Jay-Z—who just released a new video for spoken-word piece “Dream. On.”
“Dream. On.,” which premiered via Tidal, harkens back to Jay-Z’s childhood in Marcy Apartment 5C, Brooklyn. The footage consists mostly of objects: photos on a fridge, shoes, a pile of notebooks and the darkened corners of a dingy apartment. But nostalgia does little to muddy the waters of inspiration.
“Heaven knows all I had was hella hope,” Jay-Z says, “Speed dating with destiny, I couldn’t tell her nope.” Later in the video, the voice looks beyond as the camera cuts to the window: “I wonder could a kid from Mars see / a kid from Marcy … the most beautiful things are invisible.” Patterned sunlight prints itself on the wall when Jay-Z, otherwise known as Jay-Hova, utters the syllable “God.”
The “Dream. On.” video also serves as a tease for Jay-Z’s festival performance—it will open his show. Leave it to Jay-Z to let everyone know a force is coming.