“Dream. On.” finds Jay recalling in stark rhymes his youth in the Marcy Houses of Brooklyn and the ambition he cultivated there. “It takes tears, sweat, blood, five CCs,” the rapper says. “Because I know what a kid in apartment 5C see/ Heaven knows all I had was hella hope/ Speed dating with destiny, I couldn’t tell her no.”
The video complements the words with simple footage of a humble apartment. The camera jumps between peeling wallpaper, a steaming tea kettle, photographs stuck on the fridge, records, recording equipment and piles of notebooks. As Jay-Z closes “Dream. On.” – “You are whatever you say you are/ Turn any situation around” – a pigeon on a windowsill takes off and a sunbeam lights the apartment.
The “Dream. On.” clip will play at the beginning of Jay-Z’s set at Made in America fest, which takes place September 2nd and 3rd in Philadelphia. The lineup also includes J. Cole, Solange, the Chainsmokers and Migos.
Jay-Z released his most recent album, 4:44, in June.