Over the past year, Pharrell has pulled off one of the most incredible streak of hits ever. On the strength of three singles ("Get Lucky," "Blurred Lines" and "Happy") he launched himself from niche hip-hop producer to international sensation and official UN partner, leading a global movement for happiness culminating in over 58 hours of footage from 93 countries.
It is important to remember, however, that Pharrell is a very strange man.
In a recent interview with GQ, he gave the global population reason to believe that he's taking his new role as a spiritual leader very seriously. Here are his thoughts on the 2016 election:
"Hillary's gonna win. Trust me. 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. Everything is red and blue in this country. 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 seventy-five 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."
So maybe he isn't the best person to represent the pop culture take on international and political affairs. It's also strange to hear him talking female presidents when he, after all, is one of the men behind "Blurred Lines."
But that's another strange thing about Pharrell — he maintained recently that there's nothing wrong with the song. In fact, his explanation for why it was totally okay was also insane:
"What would be controversial about it? In 'Blurred Lines,' the Robin Thicke lyrics are: 'You don't need no papers,' meaning, 'You are not a possession.' 'That man is not your maker,' meaning he is not God — nor can he produce children or women, for that matter. He's a man, so he definitely did not make you. There are three kingdoms: the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the animal kingdom. As far as I know, we are related to primates. What I was trying to say was: 'That man is trying to domesticate you, but you don't need no papers — let me liberate you' ... People who are agitated just want to be mad, and I accept their opinion. I appreciate everything 'Blurred Lines' became."
Maybe we're missing something and he really is just that deep. But from this vantage point, it seems pretty clear that, international thought leadership or not, Pharrell is still a very weird man.