On Wednesday, JAY-Z (yes, the hyphen is back, as are the all caps) released a third mysterious teaser for his upcoming visual album 4:44. The rapper and music mogul hasn't shared much about his highly anticipated release (available on the mogul's streaming service Tidal on Friday, June 30). So people are placing a lot of meaning on these short clips. And the latest one has a fantastic reference that many of us can appreciate.
Lupita Nyong'o — who starred in an earlier 4:44 teaser alongside Danny Glover and Moonlight Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (thought to have a major role in the visual album) — is the sole focus of this new black-and-white 30-second video. Lupita Nyong'o is silent throughout, acting only through her incredibly expressive face and soulful eyes. (Her stunning emotiveness is part of the reason she received that Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 2014's 12 Years A Slave.) Nyong'o pierces the camera with her gaze and tears begin to stream down her face. Just before it looks like something major is about to happen, it cuts to black.
Oh, and the spot is title "MaNyfaCedGod." Now, where have we heard that before? Yes, ladies and gents, Jay Z — sorry, JAY-Z — is making a cryptic Game of Thrones reference, as Billboard points out. The Many-Faced God of GOT, a.k.a. the God of Death, is the ominous deity worshipped by the Faceless Men, the guild of assassins who reside in the House of Black and White in Braavos. (Arya's trainer-turned-enemy Jaqen H'ghar was a member.)
So, what the hell is JAY-Z trying to say, here? Well, we obviously have to think that 4:44 meditates on death in some capacity. Or maybe Jaqen H'ghar is just his favorite dude on Thrones. Or, maybe Jay is just fucking with us, and the capitalized letters in the title are not randomly capitalized, but instead represent some kind of code. I don't know... but this is starting to sound less and less like his version of Lemonade.
Read These Stories Next: