"The Story Of O.J." Video Examines Our Racist Past

A combination of hand-drawn cel animation, computer graphics and painted backgrounds
Publish date:

Directed by JAY-Z and Mark Romanek, the animated video for "The Story Of O.J." "plays on America's long history of racist cartoons from Fleischer Studios, Warner Bros., and Disney, among others," says

Austin Elias-de Jesus

. "In the video, Jay voices the cartoon character Jaybo, whose name is a reference to both the racist

Little Black Sambo

books and cartoons from the early 20th century and (as the second half of the video, which features Jaybo flying by flapping his ears, makes clear)


, a Disney movie with its own set of racist caricatures." To read more about the content and context in the video, click


. To read more about the creation of the video,

click here


JAY-Z's concept for the piece draws on the stylistic conventions of theatrical cartoons from the 1930s-40s and highlights the many prejudices and stereotypes of the era. 

The Mill's

 artists realized JAY-Z's vision using a combination of hand-drawn cel animation, computer graphics and painted backgrounds, collaborating with Titmouse to animate the original characters. Read more about The Mill's process



Jay Z's New Music Video Uses America's Long History of Racist Cartoons to Deliver a Haunting Message

Behind the Scenes Insights on JAY-Z's "The Story Of O.J."

The Mill and Titmouse Animate JAY-Z's "The Story Of O.J."

JAY-Z and Mark Romanek Unveil "4:44" Animated Video for "The Story of O.J."

Behind the Project: JAY-Z "The Story of O.J."


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