NERD, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar Song

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NERD, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar Song

In 2017, musicians were faced with the challenge of making sense of a tumultuous year in America and beyond. It’s been a time rattled by social and political division and one where music is needed now more than ever. N.E.R.D returned somewhat suddenly in the final quarter of this year with “Lemon,” a song anchored by a powerful chorus from Rihanna.

In the group’s latest song from its upcoming album, Pharrell and co. are joined by Kendrick Lamar on “Don’t Don’t Do It,” which is co-written by Frank Ocean. As Pharrell explained to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, the track is inspired by the death of Keith Scott, a black man who was fatally shot by police last year.

“They’re telling him to put his hands up or whatever and [Scott’s wife] knows, you can tell in her voice that she see what’s going to happen,” Pharrell told Lowe. “She’s saying ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it, Keith. Don’t, don’t do it.’ And of course you know the way that turned out—he was killed.”

The intro of the song was written by Frank Ocean, who Pharrell said was “the arch of no compromise, no concession, and very colorful with it.” “And that’s what is very interesting about his journey,” Pharrell continues. “Because if you understand him then, you know anything that he’s ever done is just what he’s really, really, really felt.”

The new album No_One Ever Really Dies is out this Friday, and again includes Lamar on “Kites,” which also features M.I.A.

Listen to N.E.R.D.’s “Don’t Don’t Do It” with Kendrick Lamar below:

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