The song is being released as part of Pharrell's new Time magazine cover package '"The New American Revolution." The special also boasts interviews 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, who produced the new song with his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo, said 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 health care, education, and representation?"
The focus of the new Pharrell-curated edition of Time are the systemic inequalities that Black people have faced throughout the history of the U.S. Explaining the theme’s importance further, Pharrell pointed to the reality of the so-called American Dream.
"They keep saying the American Dream is about the house and picket fence, the wife and two kids," Pharrell, who also highlighted the positive impacts of economic empowerment, said on Thursday. "Come on—let's be honest. It’s always boiled down to money and an opportunity."
To read a new piece from Pharrell with Michael Harriot, in which he notes that the path to living up to "America's ideals" is a necessary trust in "a Black vision of the future," click here.
Back in July, Jay-Z and Pharrell linked up behind an effort in support of justice for Danroy "DJ" Henry, a Black college student who was killed by a white cop nearly a decade ago. The two—as well as Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, and more—put their names on a letter to the Department of Justice urging authorities to reopen the investigation into Henry's death.