Published Aug 20, 2020As the U.S. lurches towards unemployment and evictions crises of unimaginable scale, Pharrell and JAY-Z will encourage listeners to pull up their bootstraps for the rise-and-grind towards post-pandemic prosperity on a new single.
Tomorrow (August 21), the pair will release new song "Entrepreneur," which arrives in conjunction with Pharrell's new TIME magazine cover package, "The New American Revolution."
"The intention for a song was all about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country to begin with," Pharrell explained to the magazine. "Especially as someone of colour, there's a lot of systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages. How can you get a fire started, or even the hope of an ember to start a fire, when you're starting at disadvantages with regards to health care, education and representation?"
Highlighting those systemic disadvantages as he whispers, "In this position with no choice / The system imprison young Black boys / Distract with white noise," the Toronto condo designer believes the key to breaking down barriers is economic empowerment.
"When you have successful beehive-type communities where you can circulate money within your community, it makes a huge difference," he said. "They keep saying the American Dream is about the house and picket fence, the wife and two kids. Come on — let's be honest. It's always boiled down to money and an opportunity."
JAY-Z's verse, meanwhile, features rhymes centred on Black-owned businesses. "Black Twitter, what's that? / When Jack gets paid, do you? / For every one Gucci, support two FUBUs," he raps. "Serial entrepreneur / We on our own stop / Sittin' around waiting for folks to throw you a bone / If you can't buy the building, at least stock the shelf."
Further explaining the Neptunes-produced track, Pharrell added, "The song is trying to communicate that when we stick together, treat each other better and welcome each other, there's more money and more opportunity for everyone."
The sheet music for "Entrepreneur" is available to download though Pharrell's website.
Earlier this year, he and Neptunes partner Chad Hugo made a song with deadmau5 and teased work with Kaytranada, Blink-182, Miley Cyrus and more.