The record, made in collaboration with filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel, was created for the upcoming film The Book of Clarence
Filmmaker Jeymes Samuel’s latest offering, The Book of Clarence, is now open in theaters. In celebration, the writer-director-producer is celebrating with the release of an epic collaboration matching the scale of the film, pairing Jay-Z and D’Angelo on the nine-minute song “I Want You Forever.”
Leading up to the stateside release of The Book of Clarence, Samuel appeared in conversation with Jay-Z — who also serves as a producer on the film — at a screening. There, the filmmaker described the record as “nine minutes and 32 seconds of absolute soulful, biblical bliss.”
A wide breadth of artists appear on the soundtrack for The Book of Clarence, with Jorja Smith, Kid Cudi, Doja Cat, Lil Wayne, Buju Banton, Jorge Ben Jor, Alice Smith, and Terry Callier among them. In an earlier press release, Samuel explained that “the story and the music for The Book of Clarence was always there percolating in my mind,” adding that he was always turning those thoughts over as he was working on separate projects. In 2021, he released the Western drama The Harder They Fall, which also featured Jay-Z as a producer.
The Book of Clarence is a take on a classic Hollywood Bible epic. It stars LaKeith Stanfield in the titular role of Clarence, placing in him Jerusalem circa 33 AD. There, he crosses paths with Jesus Christ, but rather than being led toward a life devoted to the lord, he sets his sights on becoming a messiah himself.
The music and the movie move in tandem with one another. That was Samuel’s overarching goal. “There was never a question as to whether I would compose the score and write and perform on the soundtrack, as well as write and direct the movie,” he added in the press release. “It was all one amazing journey where one depended on the other.”