It’s not every day that a startup gets a spotlight from two of the biggest musicians of a generation. But that’s exactly what happened when the founders of Philadelphia food delivery startup Black and Mobile appeared in the music video for “Entrepreneur,” the recently-released song from Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z.
Black and Mobile was among the 33 Black-owned businesses that were featured in the video, which was designed to help raise awareness for the positive work that Black business owners around the country are doing. Cofounders David and Aaron Cabello appear in the video at the 3:50 mark.
After working as a driver for food service apps like Postmates and Caviar in January 2017, David Cabello saw how profitable food service apps are and thought about the possibilities that could come with starting one of his own. After research, he saw that no Black-owned delivery apps existed and wanted to fill that niche.
With help from Aaron Cabello, who is his twin brother, David Cabello founded Black and Mobile in February 2019, but with one catch: He wanted to see money circulate in the Black community and decided to only work with Black-owned restaurants on his app. Black and Mobile’s slogan is “The Culture Delivered,” and the brothers set out with that mission in mind.
Since then, Black and Mobile has upgraded its app and expanded its service to Detroit, Michigan and Atlanta, Georgia. David Cabello greatly appreciated Black and Mobile’s opportunity to appear in the “Entrepreneur” video, but, at first, he didn’t believe it was real.
While communicating via email with the production company behind the video, David asked for more concrete signs that things were legitimate. He was skeptical until a production crew came to film him and his brother in Philadelphia. But when the video debuted at midnight on Thursday, August 20, all of that skepticism vanished.
“When it dropped at midnight, I couldn’t go to sleep,” he said. “I stayed up for four hours watching the video.”
In addition to Williams tagging Black and Mobile in an Instagram post, David said that he received an unexpected co-sign from Philly hip-hop legend Ab-Liva. Ab-Liva was familiar with Black and Mobile’s work in the city and vouched for the startup to Williams, who he’s known for years.
David Cabello said that Black and Mobile has received many positive responses since the video came out, including a special phone call from local motivational speaker and viral social media personality Wallo267.
“He said, ‘You motivate me,’” he said. “He remembers when I was starting out before Black and Mobile was a business. He said that I was doing something major for the kids. I look up to Wallo.”
Check out David and Aaron Cabello and other Black business owners in the “Entrepreneur” video below:
Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.