The celebration of Black entrepreneurship—even in the face of rejection, limited opportunities and lack of funding continues with Pharrell’s “Entrepreneur,” featuring Jay-Z.
The producer recently curated “The Next American Revolution”—a special issue of Time magazine and he told the publication that “Entrepreneur,” highlights “how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country,” especially for people of color when “systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages” exist. He said the song’s underlying message is: “When we stick together, treat each other better and welcome each other, there’s more money and more opportunity for everyone.”
On “Entrepreneur,” Pharrell whispers: “I am Black ambition/I am always whisperin’. They keep tellin’ me I will not/But my will won’t listen.
The visuals for “Entreprenuer” highlight American and international businesses owned by Black folks and spotlights the “will” Pharrell mentioned and challenges they faced and why they started their companies in the first place.
The list of owners and their mini-stories is impressive. Eighty-six investors passed on Denise Woodward’s Partake Cookies, except for Jay-Z. And Debbie Allen launched Tribe Midwifery after experiencing cold and “unnecessary interventions” after giving birth to her first son in a hospital. Other folks who get shine in the video are Twin brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom who created the first Black-owned anime studio in Japan; Beatrice Dixon created Honey Pot, a non-toxic feminine product line; and Chance Infinite flipped his music industry money to bring Harun Coffee shop to L.A.
Celebrities like Issa Rae, Tyler the creator and the late Nipsey Hussle get a well-deserved nod for leaving their entrepreneurial imprint on the culture too.
Jay, the rapper who made coins from spitting bars with designer names and luxury brands, now advises listeners to spend their dead presidents with melanated kinfolk. On “Entreprenuer” he raps, “For every one Gucci, support two FUBUs.”
The song and the video are a celebration of Black-owned businesses, providing a nice follow-up to what Mrs. Carter did on Juneeth of this year. On Beyonce.com, costume designer and stylist Zerina Akers curated The Black Parade route, featuring Black owned business in multiple categories from beauty to fashion to tech to wellness and more.
Watch the “Entreprenuer” video below:
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