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‘He Trippin’ Hard’: Pharrell Gets Skewered for Being Misinformed on Roots of Go-Go Music

It looks like producer/rapper/singer Pharrell Williams is in need of a music lesson, according to his critics.

The “Lemon” performer recently had a more than 40-minute discussion with legendary record producer Rick Rubin all about music in various forms. But when the conversation turned to go-go music and its roots, viewers of the GQ-hosted chat raised their eyebrows.

“Go-go was the second sound of Virginia,” the 46-year-old Virginia native told an amazed Rubin in GQ’s “Epic Conversations.” “It was everything. Everything … It’s such a pocket that if you go outside of D.C. — north-wise, like to New York — you wouldn’t know anything about it. But when you go down south, you can find some of it in Delaware, you can find a little bit of it in Maryland, but not much. And in Virginia, it was just big. In the Carolinas it was big. It was a world. It’s a world.”

But Williams’ diminishing the amount of go-go music flowing from Maryland, which envelopes D.C. where the funk subgenre emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, had many social media users scratching their heads.

Pharrell Williams attends the Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Nov. 3, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

“He trippin hard as f–k. I lived in VA and it was big there but everyone who taught me was from MD”

“I never thought I’d say this about this man about music, but Pharrell doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about”

“he said….you could find….a little bit of it in md 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 i know we’re different generations. but nahh. gogo was everywhere for me growing up. gogos used to be at the blvd bruh. ask my mamanem.”


“This dude has noooooooooooo clue what he is talking about 💀”

Pharrell has not responded to the backlash.

However, Williams’ go-go controversy follows another one this spring where residents in D.C. launched #DontMuteDC after new residents moving into Washington’s Shaw neighborhood threatened to sue over the go-go music that has blared for decades from the local Metro PCS store. With protests in the streets, tweetstorms being sent out containing the hashtag, and an online petition launched, T-Mobile CEO John Legere finally tweeted that the long-standing T-Mobile-owned store should not have to cave from its tradition. After that, “The Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown resumed blasting from the D.C. cellphone carrier.

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