Pharrell Talks ‘G I RL’ Album Cover Controversy, Oscar Snub, “That” Hat, & More

Published: Tuesday 25th Mar 2014 by Sam

While Pharrell Williams‘ new album ‘G I R L’ continues to hold firm within the upper echelons of the charts, the ‘Happy’ hitmaker isn’t resting on his laurels.

The Neptunes frontman styles and profiles a-front of GQ Magazine‘s April 2014 issue, which has been dubbed the Style Bible edition.

Beyond being a dapper chap, Williams also has a way with words. Peep excerpts from his accompanying interview after the jump. Topics discussed include his recent Oscar snub, that hat, and the controversy surrounding the supposed lack of women of color on the cover of his album.

Pharrell on the Oscar snub:

“Well, trust me: when they read the results, my face was…frozen. But then I thought about it, and I just decided just to…let it go.”

Pharrell on the criticism his album cover for G I R L received:

“It’s insecurity. You can be anything that you want to be, and what I chose to do is put my friends on the cover. The girl that was closest next to me is black, but they didn’t know that, so they jumped the gun. And it’s like: ‘Yo, you don’t need nobody to represent you. You represent you. You represent the best version of who you could be. You go out there and change the world.’ Because I’m black, and I wouldn’t trade my skin color for nothing. But I don’t need to keep wearing a badge that tells you that I’m black every time I do something! I’m black! My mother’s black, who’s a big part of my business; a black woman runs my business; and I’m married to a black woman. What more do you want?”

“It doesn’t make sense to me. That kind of divisiveness is not necessary at a time when we’re supposed to be unifying. That’s what happiness is all about, and if you look at my ‘Happy’ video, I had everybody in there: fat, skinny, gay, straight, purple, polka-dot, plaid, gingham print, houndstooth, alien. I fuckin’ had dogs in there! I had children in there! I had kids in there! I’m the most indiscriminate person that there is! I believe in equality.”

“Black ain’t a color: black is a spirit, and it is ubiquitous. In fact, there’s more black out in space than there is stars. We have nothing to be insecure about.”

Pharrell on Hilary Clinton being the next president:

“Let me tell you why Hillary’s going to win. Everywhere you go in this country, you have red and blue. You got the Democrats; you got the Republicans. You got the Bloods; you got the Crips. You know what else is red and blue? Blood. Blood is blue in your body until air hits it, and then it turns red. That means there’s unity. There’s gonna be unity. So when you think about a night where there’s late-night talk-show hosts and it’s mostly women, that’s a different world. Right? A world where 75 percent of the prime ministers and the presidents were women: that’s a different world. That’s gonna happen, and it’s gonna happen when Hillary wins. Because you know what? No matter how staunch of a supporter you are of no-abortion, whatever you are: you’re a woman, and there’s no way in the world you’re going to vote for somebody that’s going to try to tell you what to do with your body. Hillary’s gonna win. Listen, I’m reaching out to her right now. She’s gonna win.”

Pharrell on being misunderstood:

“I’m not a renaissance man. What I am is a maverick, and I don’t want to be put in a box at all.”

Pharrell on when he moved out of his parents house:

“Uh, when I finally got tired of sneaking girls in. And it was more than one girl, you know, coming to hang out with me. So it was kind of like—you know, I didn’t want to do that to my mom.”

Pharrell on his infamous buffalo hat:

“Anything different, people are going to look at and go, ‘Ha ha ha ha, what is that??’ Then, after a while, they do a little bit of research; they realize it’s Vivienne Westwood, an ode to her boyfriend at the time; they had a store together called World’s End. The guy who went on to sign the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren.”


Your thoughts?

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  1. XYZ March 25, 2014

    “Blood is blue in your body until air hits it, and then it turns red” – that is simply not true.

    and about that dumb hat. who cares by whom it is? it looks like s***, that’s why people are laughing about it..

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  2. Jlovetrue March 25, 2014

    I hate that f****** happy song grrr

  3. RancorNV March 25, 2014

    Those shoes are ridiculous. In fact that whole outfit is wrong. I’m so over these pop stars thinking a “dorky” ensemble is somehow fashionable.

  4. LOL March 25, 2014


  5. Absolved March 25, 2014

    He’s just this years Robin Thicke. Just like Robin, he has this monster hit…but ironically can’t sell the album its cut from.

  6. molly March 25, 2014

    his album is a major flop plus happy is tired like drunk ho in love.

  7. coolness March 25, 2014

    Okay… what’s with the Pharrell criticism in the comments? He’s a great producer for others but as a solo artist, he has no fanbase that’s going to out of their way to but his album. Like me for example, I streamed it and found no use of it my music library. I agree with him on the whole controversy surrounding his album cover. We place too much emphasis on color. Black comes in all shades and we need to be more accepting of our differences.

  8. Touché March 25, 2014

    He should just stick to producing to be honest.

  9. Belladonna March 25, 2014

    Damn some of you on this site will never be nice people will you? How Can you not like Pharrell ? He’s one of the best Black Images we have in pop coulter or any coulter for that matter. He wants equality for all people, a belief most blacks in the media don’t have. Maybe that’s why people on her don’t like him because he’s not a F*cking Ghetto Hot A*s Mess like 98.9% of all Urban Act in the mainstream! It’s time for a change in our coulter in the mainstream don’t you think?

  10. princess pocketbook March 25, 2014

    Let me say this for those that don’t know…a woman by the name of Dream Hampton criticisized Pharrell’s album on twitter. She is a light skinned Black or bi-racial woman with curly hair. She’s been on several tv shows including Biggie’s a Behind the Music. Just google her name and see for yourself. Darker skinned women didn’t make that complaint. We just jumped on the bandwagon. Pharrell is making it seem like darker hue women are to blame. We were too busy watching Lupita. Kill that noise. Pharrell put who he wanted on that album. He didn’t want to appeal to darker women Black women. Admit it and move on. He wanted us to b**** and moan because he wanted publicity. Too bad it didn’t help that album move units. Can you image if he did have a Lupita on that cover?….double platinum easy. Sorry Sucker.

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