JAY-Z and Pharrell are gearing up to drop their new collaboration called “Entrepreneur” this Friday (Aug 21). The Neptunes-produced track will be a part of Pharrell’s TIME Magazine cover package “The New American Revolution,” which he described as “a special issue of TIME Magazine that envisions a Black Future in an America where all people are actually created equal.” The collection features conversations with Tyler, the Creator, Angela Davis, Geoffrey Canada, Naomi Osaka and more.
“The intention for a song was all about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country to begin with,” Pharrell told TIME on Thursday. “Especially as someone of color, 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 healthcare, education and representation?”
The legendary producer also stressed economic empowerment as a tool to uplift Black communities.
“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.”
The magazine describes “Entrepreneur” as a “triumphant” tune and notes that Pharrell contributed vocals and production to the song, along with his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo.
“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,” Pharrell said.
JAY-Z and Pharrell recently teamed up to demand justice for Danroy “DJ” Henry, a Black college student who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2010. The pair and others — including Rihanna, Taraji P. Henson, Odell Beckham Jr., Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union and Mary J. Blige — wrote a letter to US Attorney General William Barr urging the Department of Justice to reopen Henry’s case.