Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z want you to know that black is still king.
After appearing in Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” visual album that was inspired by Africa, the “Happy” singer and the “Empire State of Mind” rapper are continuing to celebrate and empower black lives with their new single “Entrepreneur,” released on Friday.
“I’m black ambition/I’m always whispering/They keep telling me I will not/But my will won’t listen,” Williams whispers at the beginning of the track over a bass-heavy beat punctuated with barks.
Later, there is repeated chanting and crooning of “black man” as an almost spiritual incantation before Jay-Z enters the mix: “Lies told to you/Through YouTubes and Hulus/Shows with no hues that look like you do … For every one Gucci, support two FUBUs.”
The video, directed by Calmatic, uplifts various black entrepreneurs, including celebs such as Tyler, the Creator and Issa Rae. There’s also a moment of silence for late rapper Nipsey Hussle, himself an entrepreneur, in the middle of the video, which ends with Broadway star Robert Hartwell dancing in front of a house he bought that was once a plantation where his ancestors were slaves.
In addition to supporting black-owned businesses and confronting systemic racism with the “Entrepreneur” song and video, Williams curated Time magazine’s special issue “The New American Revolution,” featuring essays by various black leaders and luminaries.
Clearly, Mr. “Happy” has deeper issues on his mind in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement.