Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Pharrell Williams explained how the track was inspired by the death of Keith Scott, an African-American man 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 said. “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.”
Williams went on to explain how Ocean wrote the intro to the song, saying: “It was cool, I was really grateful to have him do that”. He also praised Ocean’s “art of no compromise”.
Elsewhere in the interview, Pharrell called Kendrick “incredible, brilliant”, comparing him to a jazz musician and “elegant calligraphy”.
He also confirmed that there are plans for N.E.R.D to tour.
Listen to ‘Don’t Don’t Do It!’ below via Apple Music and via other platforms.
New album ‘No_One Ever Really Dies’ will be released on Friday (December 15). See its artwork here.
The three-piece – consisting of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley – last released an album in 2010 with ‘Nothing’.
See the new album’s tracklist in full below:
‘Deep Down Body Thirst
‘Lemon’ (feat. Rihanna)
‘Voilà’ (feat. Gucci Mane and Wale)
‘1000’ (feat. Future)
‘Don’t Don’t Do It’ (feat. Kendrick Lamar and M.I.A.)
‘Lightning Fire Magic Prayer’
‘Rollinem 7’s’ (feat. André 3000)
‘Lifting You’ (feat. Ed Sheeran)
‘(Secret Life Of Tigers)’