Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams will release a new song, “Entrepreneur,” on Friday (Aug. 21) in conjunction with a Time magazine cover package on “The New American Revolution.”
The old friends and collaborators are part of a package that includes chats with Tyler, the Creator, Angela Davis and other activists talking the systemic inequalities that Black people have faced throughout U.S. history and how creating equality in culture, education, sports and policy is the key to making a change.
According to a preview from Time, the song features Williams singing, “In this position with no choice / The system imprison young Black boys / Distract with white noise.”
Pharrell broke down the inspiration behind the track for the magazine, saying the intention was to describe how hard it is to be an entrepreneur in the U.S. “Especially as someone of color, there’s a lot of systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages,” he said. “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?”
Jay’s verse also takes on the idea that economic empowerment and creating opportunity is the key to lifting everyone. “Black Twitter, what’s that? When Jack gets paid, do you?,” Jay raps in reference to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “For every one Gucci, support two FUBU’s,” he adds.
The song, produced by Williams with his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo, 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,” said Williams, who, like Jigga, is both a multi-hyphenate musician and business owner as well as social activist.
Check out the sheet music to the song here.