At the stroke of midnight on Friday (Aug. 21), Pharell and Hov released their first single in years, titled “Entrepreneur,” accompanied by a music video.
“ENTREPRENEUR out now,” Pharrell announced via Twitter. “Thank you to Jay (@S_C_), and to every Black queen, king and entrepreneur who made this all happen! This is for you…and your Black vision of the future.” He also sent his thanks to Grammy-winning director Calmatic “for creating such a beautiful video.”
Pharell produced the track alongside his Neptunes counterpart Chad Hugo, who teased that the legendary production duo were working on something with the Roc Nation mogul back in January.
An inspirational ode to young people of color, Pharrell and Hov preach to the tenets of Black ownership in “Entrepreneur” while highlighting various visionaries, creators, and entrepreneurs that are economically empowering their communities. Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Tyler The Creator and actress Issa Rae made standout cameos in the Black Lives Matter-inspired visual.
"You gotta let go / If you want to fly take the leap / You gotta risk it all / Or they'll be lots of things you'll never see,” P raps in the chorus. “Remember black is space / And it's the color of your face / There will be no sunny days / If Black went away.”
In his verse, Hov pushes the message even further.
“Uh, lies told to you, through YouTubes and Hulus / Shows with no hues that look like you do / Black Twitter, what's that? When Jack gets paid, do you?” he rhymes. “For every one Gucci, support two FUBUs / Sipping crip-a-Cola consumer and an owner / ’Til we all vertically integrated from the floor up / D'Usse pour up, sip Ace till I throw up / Like gang signs ’cept I bang mines for both yas.”
The music video also featured a tribute to Nipsey Hussle. Around the halfway point, there’s a brief moment of silence dedicated to the late rapper before Hov’s verse comes in.
The empowering track arrived in conjunction with Pharrell's new TIME cover, “The New American Revolution,” a special project curated by the legendary beatmaker examining the country’s “oppressive past” and the “potential for an equitable future.”
Pharrell told the publication the song was inspired by how “tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country, to begin with.”
“Especially as someone of color, there's a lot of systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages,” he continued. “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?”
“When you have successful beehive-type communities where you can circulate money within your community, it makes a huge difference,” Pharrell added. “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.”
Listen to “Entrepreneur” below.
(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)