If there was ever a time to celebrate Black Excellence, the time would be now. Actually, it's always a good time to celebrate Black Excellence especially since blacks worldwide have constantly and consistently been in an uphill battle to overthrow systematic oppression and recover from centuries old displacement and disadvantage.
The news and media love to highlight shortcomings, failings, and victimization of black people. Whether it is corruption in foreign countries, malnourished children in the motherland, or crime and drug related dramas being played out domestically.
Musically, the story of black people has been unbalanced through lyrical storytelling of hyper sexuality, drug use, and violence in the last 30 years. It can be difficult sometimes to believe there is much worthy of applauding in our community. So when a song like this comes out accompanied by a music video showcasing the cream-of-the-crop, it is a reprieve from the status quo of commercialized laissez-faire.
Yes, it is a breath of fresh air to see entrepreneurship being celebrated and glorified through song and dance. Although I appreciate the attempt to show blacks in a position of power, self sustainment, Financial Freedom, and economic confidence, I feel somewhat short-changed. It's not that I don't appreciate the message behind the music, but it just seemed a little vague. A little lacking.
In comparison, watching The Cosby Show growing up gave me a sense of pride in being black and helped me to believe that I could achieve greatness just like the Huxtables. There was the general premise that wealth and success came through education. The family was socially and intellectually well groomed. A doctor, a lawyer, college students. Since this was a situational comedy, I don't criticize it too much for being too generalized. Or maybe I should've?
All those years in my youth watching a show based on greatness without really understanding how to get there. Isn't there some way that Bill Cosby could have worked in some lessons to teach us how to earn wealth and build family legacies into his comedic scripts, rather than just placating us with stories of his own fictional family? Sigh.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and not only do I want to get a warm and fuzzy feeling from seeing successful black people. But now I want to know how they got there. A butcher, a baker, a bread box maker is a paraphrased short and sweet version of how they got from point A to point B. But I want more.
Upon seeing the title of the song, ENTREPRENEUR-my hopeful claim to fame, I think what I was expecting was to hear line by line plans of success being rapped or sung to me. I was expecting to hear key elements of the entrepreneurial mindset, the foundation of financial acuity, the secret to negotiating and making the sale.
I wanted to understand what it meant to be an entrepreneur, not just see the end results. Does that sound ungrateful? Does that sound rude? Am I being a hater? By the end of my YouTube video definitely felt like one. I felt like I was throwing shade not only on whoever wrote the lyrics and made the beats, but even on celebrity entrepreneur Issa Rae who in her own right has accomplished success from humble beginnings - she was a YouTuber just like me!
For the other bosses and owners featured, I couldn't help but to make assumptions for their success and downplay the achievements of those who looked as if they were either already in the industry and therefore had connections, or were flukes. Miracle millionaires. Economic enigmas. Lucky folks that were in the right place at the right time.
But then there were the mavericks that I truly admire. At one point my shout of excitement was for a black anime artist who owns his own Studio Japan. Double points for him. One for being an artist and the other for being brave enough to venture to my dream destination to make his actual dreams come true.
I definitely don't want to downplay the hard work and dedication of those who went the traditional route and save their money, invested their money, worked hard, and overcame obstacles that I can only imagine to reach their goals of being financially stable, or in some cases lucrative self-earners.
Seeing successful entrepreneurs is an inspiration to all but is especially motivating to someone like myself who is an aspiring entrepreneur, and black woman. After hearing the song recommended on Facebook- by celebrated journalist Baye McNeil,someone whom I admire for his outspokenness, literary ability, and the fact that he lives in my dream destination of Japan- I decided to watch it and do a reaction video of it on my YouTube channel.
The music genre is not one that I normally listen to, but the fact that it falls under my chosen niche of entrepreneurship is something that piqued my interest making it an appropriate addition to my catalog of business-related videos.
In said video I recorded myself giving an honest first time reaction while watching the video. The song 'Entrepreneur' literally sings the praises of successful businessmen and women of the black diaspora.
The song itself is somewhat lackluster, relying on a forgettable melody and an unimaginative hook line. I'm surprised that Co-producer of the song 'Entrepreneur' Jay-Z did not offer an actual 'blueprint' of entrepreneurial success lyrically coded somewhere in his cypher since his specialty appears to be musically testifying how to get rich and make it big. When Entrepreneur magazine interviewed Pharrell, the Entertainer gave his response to the inspiration for putting together this prosperous All Star Black cast. "I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles."
The melanated magic on the screen was alluring. But in the end there was disappointment. The less than stellar instrumentals was one thing, but the lack of a direct message telling me what to do in order to one day be worthy enough to get my 15 seconds of fame to flex and be celebrated was another. I need more than visuals. I need the whole story.