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Pharrell Sets The Record Straight in Album Cover Controversy: ‘This is the New Black’

Pharrell Black Women Are Insecure Pharrell Williams wasn’t holding back when he sat down for an interview with GQ Magazine and dished all his true feelings about the negative backlash he received for his “G I R L” album cover.

Pharrell is no stranger to expressing himself freely and honestly, and this interview was no exception.

Responding to the backlash he received about not featuring a Black woman on his album cover, Pharrell presented another message – Black is more than a color, it’s a spirit.

First, he reminded GQ’s Zach Baron that there was indeed a Black woman on the album. She simply had light skin.

Later in the interview, however, he explained that being Black is about so much more than a skin color.

“This is the new Black,” he said after questioning why so many Black people are interested in tearing each other down. “Oprah Winfrey: That’s the new Black. She’s a Black billionaire. President Obama: He is a Black American president…That’s the new Black. LeBron James: the first Black man ever shot on a Vogue cover, a Black man. Me: a guy that’s written a song at 40! Nominated for an Oscar, four Grammy awards – at 40! That’s the new Black!”

He then added, “Black is a spirit, and it is ubiquitous.”

The award-winning producer also believes that insecurity caused some Black women to be upset with his album cover.

“There were a lot of Black women that were really angry at some of those girls, but some of those girls are the ones that instantly get mad when they don’t see somebody that’s dark,” he said. “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!”

Pharrell on Album Cover Controversy After pointing out that his mother is Black and she runs his company and that his wife is Black, Pharrell dove deeper into the real issue surrounding the album cover controversy – people who are assigning levels to “Blackness.”

The Black woman on the cover didn’t receive recognition as being Black simply because she was of a lighter complexion.

“So why are we still having this conversation?” he asked. “Because look:” Lenny Kravitz is biracial, but to me and everybody else I know, he’s known as one of the biggest Black rock stars of all time. Our president: He’s biracial! Mom was white, daddy was Black, and he is Black. So what do you want me to do, go picket in front of the White House that he’s not Black enough?”

According to Pharrell, instead of trying to “point around and ask for that kind of sympathy,” Black people should “get together ourselves and support ourselves.”

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” he added. “That kind of divisiveness is not necessary at a time when we’re supposed to be unifying.”

What people are saying

3 thoughts on “Pharrell Sets The Record Straight in Album Cover Controversy: ‘This is the New Black’

  1. Farntella Graham says:

    So what is he trying to say?: that successful Black people are the "new black".? there has always been successful Black people and there would be more if the playing field were level. he sounds ridiculous and he has not a clue what it means to be Black in this world. the light skinned mullato does not represent me. she looks nothing like me. I cannot relate to her as being Black. she looks more hispanic than Black. why is this even a discussion? he sounds like a lot of Black people who are on his level and have so-called "made it." a sellout, a complete sellout. he must be mixed himself and yes, i agree that to be Black is more than skin color. it is much more than that. the so-called "Black" girl on his cover will not suffer for the color of her skin. she will be allowed to pass for whoever she wants to be. not fair.

  2. Lovella Carol Hughes Johnson says:

    I got a headache reading his explanation. Dude should just say "I don't want any dark-skinned women on my cover." Case closed. No arguing with someone's choice, but creating a whole new category made this "old black" cringe.

  3. Elisha Carrington Photos says:

    Some awful comments. Not in regards to Pharrell's explanation, but in regards to attitudes towards blackness and skin tone. These comments are negative, gnorant and of a backwards school of thought. Is Jada Pinkett black? Or not black enough enough? Is Beyonce black? Or not black enough? Like WTF!! Why is skin tone the way some people determin how "black" a person is? Isn't this how white folk divided African peoples hundreds of years ago? It seems very toxic to argue a person of lighter skin is dismissed in this way just becayse they happen to be light in tone. Siblings commonly have diffetent shades of skin tone, is the lighter child less black than their sibling -from the same parents-than the darker child? Oh please! And the assumptions being made about the heritage of the black model in this image is just ignorant.

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