Where the final version that appeared on the group’s recent album No_One Ever Really Dies features Pharrell singing throughout the entirety of the track, this version (which is presumably a demo) finds Frank Ocean singing the intro before Pharrell takes over in the chorus. The track was put online courtesy of hacker group Mafia Music. You can listen to it here.
Pharrell had previously said that Ocean penned the intro to the track and through this version we finally get to hear what that sounded like. He also previously spoke on how the death Keith Scott by police in Charlotte, North Carolina, inspired the track.
“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 said. “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 see what’s going to happen. 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.”
N.E.R.D will be performing at this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, which will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The event will air live on Sunday, Feb. 18 on TNT at 8:00 p.m. EST.