JAY-Z is back in the music spotlight with the release of “4:44,” his thirteenth studio album that finds him more vulnerable than he’s ever been. Amongst tracks in which he talks about his martial strife with Beyonce and admits to womanizing, the Brooklyn rapper builds an entire song around the infamous “La La Land”/”Moonlight” Best Picture screw up that was the talk of the Oscars this year.
The eighth song on the 10-track album is called “Moonlight,” and it includes the hook: “We stuck in La La Land/ Even when we win, we gon’ lose/ We got the same fuckin’ flows/ I don’t know who is who.” Speaking with iHeart Radio following the album’s release, the rapper confirmed both the title and the hook was a reference to the infamous Best Picture gaffe. “It’s really a commentary on the culture and where we’re going,” JAY-Z said about the reference.
In the wake of “La La Land” mistakingly being named Best Picture over “Moonlight,” numerous outlets pointed to how the error overshadowed what was a major achievement by a black filmmaker.
“Director Barry Jenkins, writer Tarell Alvin McCraney and producers Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner were outsiders even at their own coronation, denied what should have been a moment of glory,” Steve Rose of The Guardian observed (via Vanity Fair) after the Oscars. “There were echoes of Hattie McDaniel, 76 years ago, who had to walk up to collect her Best Supporting Actress Oscar from a table way down the back of the hall.”
The lyric “even when we win, we gon’ lose” pretty much sums up JAY-Z’s thoughts on how the Best Picture gaffe speaks to larger social issues. “4:44” is now streaming exclusively on TIDAL.