Pharrell Williams and his N.E.R.D. bandmates have recruited Rihanna to show off her rap skills on the hip-hop group’s first single in seven years.
Lemon debuted on DJ Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show Beats 1 on Wednesday (01Nov17), with the accompanying video for the energetic track hitting streaming services immediately afterwards.
The comeback song opens with Pharrell saying, “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll p**s you off”, as the uptempo beat kicks in, while Rihanna boasts about her lifestyle in her guest verse.
“I get it how I live it/I live it how I get it/Count the motherf**king digits,” she spits, as she later adds, “And this ain’t a scrimmage/Motherf**ker we ain’t finished/I told you we won’t stop…”
Rihanna also briefly appears at the start of the promo, in which she is featured sitting on the side of a bed as she shaves off a female model’s hair.
The newly-bald woman, wearing baggy jeans and a white crop top, then struts through an empty bike store before breaking out into dance.
Fans have been anticipating N.E.R.D.’s chart return for some time after Pharrell revealed he was back in the studio with bandmates Chad Hugo and Shay Haley in 2015.
The release of Lemon comes just days before the group reunites to headline music and arts event ComplexCon in Long Beach, California this weekend (04-05Nov17). The gig will mark N.E.R.D.’s first performance together since 2014.
The band’s last album, Nothing, was released in 2010 and spawned the singles Hot-n-Fun with Nelly Furtado and Hypnotize U.