Music mogul JAY-Z and Pharrell Williams kept their word on delivering a monumental and empowering new “Entrepreneur” music video. The must-see visual places a heavy emphasis on Black excellence and features ample celebrity cameos with highlights of African American achievements.
JAY-Z and Pharrell’s Black Excellence
Heading into Friday, JAY and Skateboard P hit the green light on releasing their new tune. Instead of just going the single route, they also put out the record with a powerful music video.
Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z are shining a light on the plight Black men and women have faced in the United States. Their new song “Entrepreneur” drops on Friday in conjunction with Williams’ new Time cover, “The New American Revolution,” described as “a special project … that examines America’s oppressive past — and the potential for an equitable future.” Some of the lyrics rapped by Jay-Z reportedly are, “Black Twitter, what’s that? When Jack gets paid, do you?” in reference to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. (CNN)
The video also places a massive amount of attention on success not just within the entertainment world but with Black-owned businesses throughout the nation.
Some rappers like the late Nipsey Hussle used that self-starter ethic to make meaningful changes in brutalized communities. The video spotlights a range of Black successes, including Tyler, the Creator and “Insecure’s” Issa Rae, plus local skate shop owners, a midwife and Princeton’s first Black valedictorian (and a moment of silence for Hussle). In a summer of protest that’s seen so many images of Black death across timelines, it is a worthy counterpoint to just see people at work, doing it well, even if the lyrics sometimes turn trite (“There will be no sunny days / If Black went away.”) (Los Angeles Times)
Pharrell made sure to hit up his social media pages to promote the visual and also shout-out JAY for his involvement.
“ENTREPRENEUR out now. 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. Special thank you to the director @CALMATIC for creating such a beautiful video.” -Pharrell Williams’ Twitter
Wait, There’s More
On Thursday, buzz developed about JAY and Pharrell having new music on deck. To make things even better, the song is expected to premiere in the coming hours and focus on inequality toward Black people.
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. (Billboard)
Before You Go
Heading into Thursday, JAY’s former Def Jam Records artist Nas hit up Instagram to encourage fans to get involved with his new “Ultra Black” challenge. He also took things a step further by nominating a bunch of high-profile Black celebrities to kick-off the viral trend.
“UltraBlack challenge kicked off by my bro @cormega It’s only right i share my thoughts and nominate some of my brothers / sisters @lupitanyongo @stevestoute @icecube @issarae @kamalaharris @lenawaithe @diddy @hitboy @killermike @chadwickboseman @traceeellisross @dudebro @kyrieirving @kerbito @jungleqb @stevencaplejr @samuelljackson @mrchuckd_pe @kaepernick7”
“Produced by Hit-boy, “Ultra Black” is an anthemic, uplifting reminder of the unignorable contributions made by the Black community. A testament of the times, Ultra Black is a statement to being unapologetically Pro-Black, and thus pro-humanity.”
“While the color black often connotes feelings of darkness, Nas reimagines the term to represent its richness, complexity, and profound beauty. An electrifying phrase honoring the Black community as the life force of culture, the term extends beyond race, class, or creed. It is symbolic of the fortitude, power, legacy, and interconnectedness of all people worldwide. Just as black absorbs all light, Ultra Black represents the unification of all people, spotlighting Black joy and the promising future ahead.” -Nas’ Instagram
A few hours prior, The Firm group member Cormega actually helped launch the “Ultra Black” challenge.
“Exalting in what is condemned ,awareness I descended from where all life begins, ultra black as Miles Davis in a dark room,or the cast iron pan that cooked grandmas food, a seed that came up from the dirt and bloomed to cover the earth,with culture and deep soul like Eddie Levert,ultra black as Ali opposing the draft losing his title but gaining a new one as people’s champ, Serena’s dominance, Aretha’s prominence, Khalid Muhammad’s confidence, the Panthers embodied this,manifestation of ultra black is greatness, and arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor they racist! #ultrablack” -Cormega’s Instagram