N.E.R.D. is set to drop their much-anticipated new album, NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES, this Friday. Ahead the release, they've dropped one two tracks on the album featuring Kendrick Lamar, "Don't Do It!"
The socially-aware song was inspired by Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was killed by police in Charlotte in 2016. On the tape the shooting, Scott's wife can be heard yelling "Don't do it!" in the background.
“She’s filming the entire thing on her camera phone. She is saying, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t don’t do it. Don’t do it Keith. Don’t don’t do it,'” Pharrell told Zane Lowe, where he debuted the song on Beats 1. “She’s telling the authorities that her husband has a TBI, that’s a Traumatic Brain Injury. They’re telling him to put his hands up or whatever and she knows, you can tell in her voice that she sees what’s going to happen. She’s saying, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it Keith. Don’t don’t do it.’ And course you know the way that turned out—he was killed.”
The intro to the song was written by Frank Ocean.
“He is the arch no compromise, no concession and very colorful with it,” Pharrell said the elusive singer/songwriter. “Nothing ever feels like a mistake with him, but course we all as human beings make mistakes. His ability to make nothing feel like a mistake or nothing feel like everything has purpose. Even his flaws just seem to be artful and well thought out.”
Pharrell also had high praise for K. Dot.
“The way that he handles the pen is kind how Miles Davis handled the trumpet. Or how Coltrane fingers just shifted and sifted through his saxophone keys. It’s like his melodies are as prolific and what he has to say has so much harmony and so much color in it.”
NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES, the follow-up to N.E.R.D.'s 2010 project, Nothing, drops Dec. 15. Take a listen to "Don't Do It" featuring Kendrick Lamar below Spotify.