The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams has stepped forward to speak out on the backlash he has received over his new G I R L cover appearing to only feature non-Black women.
Despite the perception, Williams admitted one of the featured women is not only Black but an ex-girlfriend.
“You know what really disappointed me is that, man, they jumped the gun, because the one I’m standing the closest to is Black. She’s a Black girl from like Wisconsin that I used to date like over ten years ago, or twelve years ago,” Pharrell revealed in an interview. “And it’s just that that just must suck for people to just look at something and to assume that they know what’s going on. And if they just bothered to listen to my album, they would know that my album was an ode to women, period. And the one thing that I’m trying to kill. The one thing I was just trying to help and aid in changing is this crazy statuesque standard of you gotta be white, waif and thin for you to be beautiful.” (“The Breakfast Club”)
According to earlier reports, some fans pulled out the race card in regard to Skateboard P’s cover.
Controversy has sparked over Pharrell’s album cover art and it is not making people “Happy.” A conversation sparked over Twitter about the lack of a black woman on the LP’s cover art. The image features Skateboard P in a bathrobe with three gorgeous ladies by his side, with all of them wearing sun glasses. None of them being black. Many people we’re disappointed with Pharrell–being a black man himself–adding on to the issue of the idea of beauty and the lack of representation of black women in the media. (XXL Mag)
P unleashed a snappy promotional video to clear the air on his LP’s playlist Monday (February 24).
According to the video, the track list is: 1. “Marilyn Monroe” 2. “Brand New” 3. “Hunter” 4. “Gush” 5. “Happy” 6. “Come Get It Bae” 7. “Gust of Wind” 8. “Lost Queen” 9. “Know Who You Are” 10. “It Girl” The final list is a bit different from one posted by the Noisey blog? last week following a listening session. That roster featured the song “Freq” and noted that collaborators would include Justin Timberlake on “Brand New,” Miley Cyrus on “Come Get It,” Daft Punk on “Gust of Wind” and Alicia Keys on “Know Who You Are.” (MTV)
Last week, Pharrell delved into what inspired his new LP’s title.
“It’s called G I R L, it’s all capital letters and two spaces between each letter on purpose. … The reason why I named it G I R L in capital letters is because when you look at it, it looks a little weird and the reason why it does is because society is a little unbalanced. And I just thought like, man, if I’m gonna make an album, I need to make an album that says everything that I’ve ever wanted to say, like dreamt of.” (Backstage At The BRITs)
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Check out Pharrell’s interview: