He might be the creator behind rival hit “Funny,” but while watching people around the world creating their fan-made video version of the track was an emotional weight of success that caused Pharrell Williams to breakdown in tears during a sit down with Oprah Winfrey on ‘Oprah Prime.’
Last night, Williams opened up about his marriage, his career, creating tons of hit tracks like “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky,” and “Happy,” along with his thought’s on women rights, G.I.R.L album cover controversy and the “new black” mentality.
Here’s a few highlights from the interview:
On his G.I.R.L album controversy:
Instantly, because I’m an Aries, I got heated. Unfortunately the girl closest to me. The one who’s closest to my face, is a girl that I used to date and she is African-American. I’m a weirdo man. If you look at the first N.E.R.D. album, Shay’s on the cover playing Playstation. I wasn’t even on it. I just do things left of center, so those that know me would understand that.
I just thought to myself, is this the time that we’re going to be divisive? Because at the time with this album cover, “Happy” was like, rising. I was becoming the first African-American in a full year to hit number one. Is this the time that we’re going to pick to be divisive?
So then, I went on to explain that she is African-American and I used to date her and it must suck to be a black girl of that color because you’re being questioned if you’re black enough. Her dad is black, her mom is white. Here’s my thing. Why are we having this conversation? There was a girl named Lauren Rogers that Instagrammed a picture of her in her robe [to mimick the G I R L cover] — like put your robe on, the new definition of sexy is putting your robe on — so she puts it on there and the meanest comments come on there. I was like, ‘see! this is what I didn’t want to happen!’ because you make an issue about how first I didn’t have no black girls on there. Then, it instantly turned into they’re not dark enough. So when a brown-skinned girl were to go and try and put on her robe, she gets attacked. So, right now, I’d like to take this time to do something wonderful for Lauren.
All the positive people go out and follow her @TheLaurenRogers. Love you. Kisses boo.
On the “new black” mentality:
The new black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The new black dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation, it’s a mentality. It’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you and you’ve got to pick which side you’re gonna be on. You choose to be on. The name of my album is not called race, it’s called G I R L. It’s for the female species. That’s number one. Number two, my mama is black.
My mom is a huge part of my business. My wife is black. There are certain people who allow the delusion in the mirror, in their own mirrors, to become issues. You should not find confidence outside of your mirror. Why are you sharing your delusion? Whatever that space is between you and your mirror, what does that have to do with me? This is my work. I recognize that there are issues. We get judged on our skin. I just stated that there hadn’t been an African-American like…so we look at things like that.
I don’t allow that to run my life. I don’t live my life trying to be black. What I do is, I nurture my curiosity and use it. I’m proud to be what I am. So my thing is, the new black is a mentality. You don’t do things because you’re black. You do things because you’re genuinely interested in something. Is there a lot of black in equality? Absolutely. But I’m the main one waving the flag. What do you mean? Don’t find your confidence in a cover. Find your confidence in the mirror.
On his reaction to the YouTube videos:
It’s overwhelming because I love what I do and people have believed in me for so long that I can make it to this point, to feel that.”
Watch the full interview below: