"What the fuck do you know about being a black man in America? And you wonder why we walk around strapped..."
T.I. spits truth on the injustice and racism in America on his new single, "New National Anthem."
The rapper's third single, which features Skylar Grey, comes at a time where there's on-going protests occurring in Ferguson, Miss. after the killing of unarmed 18-year old, Michael Brown.
"New National Anthem" is a look into the lyrical authenticity laced throughout Tip's ninth studio album, and first under Columbia Records, Paperwork.
"I mean it's [my] ninth album, [I] can't just continue doing the same shit," he tells Billboard.
"You keep some of the same elements, but you must apply a different twist, playbook, or whatever," T.I. adds. "I teamed up with the best for that. Pharrell and I have worked [together] since I stepped up in the industry, so he has an immaculate understanding for who I am as an artist, as well for my genre."
Pharrell Williams executive produced the LP, and is probably the best person for the job. No two records from Williams are alike and as we heard with "Happy," he's all about taking risks and overstepping boundaries.
Though Williams has worked with mega pop acts like Madonna, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears, he's still inherently hip-hop. "Pharrell has always been the best at taking people that come from my walk of life and adding [elements that are] ahead of the curve," he notes. "With the Clipse… with Snoop [Dogg]'s 'Drop It like It's Hot.' That's the kinda stuff I needed."
Paperwork also features production from DJ Mustard, DJ Toomp, B.o.B, and London on da Track. The album is expected to be released in September.
Additional reporting by Erika Ramirez.