Pharrell Williams is one of the most impactful artists of our generation. Having worked on multiple classic albums and tracks, his catalogue is something few have managed to achieve. However, there was also a time when Pharrell was Skateboard P. P was more of a guy that would flex in his raps, talk about chains, cars and clothing, much different from the Pharrell many know today.
Back in 2006, Pharrell dropped a Gangsta Grillz mixtape, where he flexed about his material possessions and much more. Now, in a recent interview with GQ, Pharrell talks about how he’s ashamed of the guy he was in his old raps.
“And then I met Nigo, and he didn’t say anything. His cars, his houses, his apartments—he was such an incredible collector. His points of view. But this guy would not say one word. He just bowed all the time. When I went to Japan, I had never met a more humble culture. I was like, These people are so kind, and they have the best taste. Now, at the time , I was still doing, like, my Gangsta Grillz mixtape. I could never listen to it now, because I was bragging so much. I’m so embarrassed by that. I behaved so obnoxiously. But I didn’t know no better. And Nigo’s way of humility, and Tokyo’s way of humility, was seeping into my soul. And then the more I humbled myself down, the less I bragged. The less that I felt like I needed to flex. Humility is a skill set. It’s an art form. It’s something you work at,” he said.
In the same interview, Pharrell talked about how his Robin Thicke collaboration, “Blurred Lines” made him think differently about women in his lyrics.
“And then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behavior. Or the way I think about things. It just matters how it affects women. And I was like, Got it. I get it. Cool. My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel.”
Read the full GQ story here.