Posted: April 4th
Bono & The Edge of U2 With Pharrell
Photo by Frazer Harrison. Pharrell presented the Innovator Award to Bono and The Edge of U2 at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Inglewood, California. In his introduction, Pharrell said of the band, “When they see a problem, they don’t just sing about it, they do their best to fix it.” “Pharrell Williams is the essence of Rock n’ Roll! Miracle Man, risk-taker, he defies gravity” said Bono. Pharrell was honored with the award at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
— pharrell’s junebug (@angelAmyV) April 4, 2016
pharrell want that cake cake cake 😜🍰 pic.twitter.com/outhnK4f8d
— pharrell’s junebug (@angelAmyV) April 4, 2016
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) April 4, 2016
By Stephanie Eckardt. Not for the first time that day, Pharrell Williams settled into a towering denim teepee inside G-Star’s Amsterdam headquarters last week and seemed pleased. The teepee, after all, had been his idea. A co-owner of the 25-year-old Dutch label as of the past couple of months, the singer was taking the opportunity to show off his new playground – a huge, highway-adjacent factory designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – to a group of editors, acolytes and famous buddies including A$AP Rocky and Miguel.
Newly pink-haired and sporting rainbow-colored grills, Williams was dressed for the occasion: He wore white graffitied Timberlands, a baseball cap emblazoned with the word “Plant”, and a distressed denim jumpsuit that bore the phrase “Head of Imagination,” his official chosen title at the company, across his back. “I see it as an awesome opportunity for me to express myself in terms of using the denim as a medium, to just make a statement whenever,” he told Stephanie Eckardt of his new role. Williams’ title may sound flowery, but he’s serious – and even infectiously enthusiastic – when it comes to sustainable designs.
His interest began in 2014, when he collaborated with G-Star on a capsule collection called Raw For The Oceans that replaced the polyester threads in denim with recycled plastic found in the oceans, sourced from another company Williams co-owns, Bionic Yarn. “You know how it works?” he asked me at one point, dutifully listening to my explanation before eagerly jumping into the nitty-gritty, statistics included: In the last two years, G-Star has jumped from using 15% to 61% recycled polyester, equating to 700,000 bottles every season. “Did over two million last year alone. Ten tons of plastic,” he tallied. “And that’s cool.”
There is something new and innovative coming to New York City this May and it will feature some of the hottest artists including Robin Thicke, on May 7th at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. The four-day music event is being called Grammy Park and will be hosted by The Recording Academy. This first year music festival will feature a collection of Grammy-nominated and Grammy-award winning artists over the course of four days at multiple NYC locations that include Kings Theater, Prospect Park Bandshell and LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Some of the performances will be free to the public but there are others that will require tickets. A schedule/list of performing artists can be found here, you can pick up your tickets HERE.
By Dana Scott. Harvard University has always had an open door to Hip Hop. Dating back to the eighties, the world’s most revered academic institution has welcomed venerable hip hop artists from all subgenres of rap music including KRS-One, Paris, Genius/GZA, Lil B, Kanye West, DJ Whoo Kid, and 9th Wonder as a fellow professor to name a few. Nas was even awarded their prestigious W.E.B. DuBois Medal late last year, and has a fellowship with his namesake there. And let’s not forget that the most celebrated printed Hip Hop publication in the culture’s history, The Source, was burgeoned in a dorm room there back in 1988.
This past Thursday, Pusha T spen an hour of his time inside the Harvard–Yenching Library to discuss the creative process of his latest album King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, his lengthy recording career, race and politics in the rap game and for young blacks in America, and other important facts about the changes in the rap game since he started “grindin” with his on their seminal debut Lord Willin’ in 2002. Here are eight of the most important takeaways from this Harvard discussion with the Virginian.
By Brian Truitt. Pharrell Williams met math greatness — and a real American heroine — and didn’t even know it. The music star’s mom had to remind him that he was introduced five years ago to Katherine Johnson, a black NASA aerospace technologist who was instrumental to the calculations that sent men to the cosmos during the 1960s space race and racial segregation. Now Williams is taking an active role in the movie based on her life, Hidden Figures, by signing on as a producer and creating original music inspired by the period and Johnson herself.
“I don’t feel like we celebrate enough mathematicians as it is, let alone an African-American female at such a time having to use a bathroom all the way on the other side of the campus just because that’s the way it is,” Williams says. “You can’t believe what she went through and stayed amazingly focused on the greater goal.” Taraji P. Henson stars in the film (in theaters January 13th, 2017), which centers on the personal and professional lives of Johnson (Henson) and fellow NASA mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (singer Janelle Monáe).
The movie focuses on their efforts getting John Glenn (Glen Powell) home from his 1962 orbit of Earth. Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi and now filming in Atlanta, also stars Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst, Aldis Hodge and Mahersala Ali. Williams will “produce the entire musical palette of the film,” says producer Donna Gigliotti, adding that so far tunes have had the feel of Southern spirituals and girl-group harmonies. And with Monáe in the cast, Williams anticipates that the first musical collaboration between the two “will happen for sure.” The real-life Johnson, 97, a 2015 recipient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, is “a really strong soul,” Williams says, and he promises “lifting” music to match her legacy.
For most of a decade, Mayer Hawthorne has been showcasing his gift for making celebratory soul music. The Ann Arbor native, based in L.A. since 2006, has a weighty résumé that includes Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Arranger and DJ. His 2013 album, “Where Does This Door Go,” found him checking off some significant boxes on his bucket list: He got to work with Pharrell Williams and other top-tier producers, and the album was nominated for a Grammy and hit No. 30 in Billboard. Recently, Hawthorne switched labels to Los Angeles indie Vagrant Records. The move allowed him to take full control of production on “Man About Town“, a record he considers his quintessential collection of tunes. Mayer sat down with Freep.com to talk aobut working with Pharrell and his new album
“The last album, “Where Does This Door Go,” was a chance for me to work with all my favorite producers, like Pharrell Williams, John Hill and Greg Wells and all these talented people. That’s the benefit of being signed to a major label and having bigger budgets. But the flip side of it was that I didn’t have full creative control. That’s the give and take of being on a major label. … “Man About Town” is really the album I wanted to make. Basically, when I was working with all those producers, I was soaking up all their tricks and techniques and then went back in on (“Man”) and did it all myself. The best way to describe it, even if it sounds weird at this point, is that (“Man”) is the most Mayer Hawthorne album yet!
“I think something I picked up from working with Pharrell on the last record was just the importance of storytelling, telling stories in the most detailed and vivid manner possible. (Pharrell and I) bonded over Steely Dan’s songs. I never realized why I loved (Steely Dan) songs so much until Pharrell put it into perspective. Their lyrics tell a story that focuses in on certain details, and I think that’s what comes through on my new record, the richness of the stories coming through in the lyrics.”
A good friend of mine, Stephen Penny managed to get an Interview with the SpyMob/N*E*R*D/Neptunes guitarist Brent Paschke, where they discussed Brent’s career, how In Search Of… changed his life, his experiences and plans, as well as everything Pharrell, The Neptunes and N*E*R*D, check out the video below, and underneath there is a brief timeline breakdown should you want to skip to a specific topic.
00:01 – Intro
04:30 – First getting in to music
05:45 – Spymob
06:50 – In Search Of…
08:20 – The Neptunes and getting introduced to Pharrell and Chad
10:20 – The differences between working on N*E*R*D, The Neptunes and Pharrell productions
12:50 – Pharrell’s process
18:40 – Adapting to new styles and improving your craft
20:45 – A busy few years – staying motivated and the touring process
25:00 – Essential equipment and tools of the trade
27:30 – Favourite and least favourite part of the recording process and being in the studio
29:30 – Future music you’re listening to and working with
32:00 – In Search Of… (again), the genius of Pharrell, and the N*E*R*D days
37:00 – Chad needs a hat
38:00 – Questions from theneptunes.org and OG Bape Talk Facebook groups
38:30 – Favourite tour moment s and memories
40:20 – Happy becoming big
47:00 – A Spymob reunion?
48:55 – Current/future work – Pharrell, music education and more shows/festivals
— i am OTHER (@i_am_OTHER) March 31, 2016
THE PINK HAIR. THE RAINBOW GRILL. THE DENIM SUIT. pic.twitter.com/Iu5TkAZcGD
— pharrell’s junebug (@angelAmyV) March 31, 2016
By Cherise Johnson. Pusha T gave a lecture at Harvard University School Of Business on Thursday (March 31) at the Harvard Yard & Yenching Library addressing an array of topics followed by a 45-minute discussion with students. “It was an amazing experience hearing a Harvard professor recite my lyrics at this lecture thanks for having me @Harvard,” King Push captioned on an Instagram video of a professor reciting the lyrics to his “Momma I’m So Sorry” verse off Clipse’s 2006 album Hell Hath No Fury.
Since Push was appointed President of G.O.O.D Music November of last year one student asked him how he plans on using his new position to elevate the rap game. “I feel like it’s my job and my duty, as well, to help uplift the new creatives coming in,” the “Retribution” rapper said. Elsewhere in his lecture, Pusha T touched on other matters such as the glorification of drug dealing versus the reality, issues concerning the Black community and the importance of using music for not only redemption but for social justice among other points.
@HipHopRealEstate @harvard Lecture w/ @kingpush today. Being President of #GoodMusic what changes will you make for the upcoming generation and the rap game? The @harvard students were influenced by the life and times of #PushaT… @hhregrouporg #hhregroup #Youth #education #empowering #encourage
A video posted by Hip Hop Real Estate (@hhregrouporg) on
French electronic duo Cassius have announced their first album since 2006’s 15 Again, titled Ibifornia, a combination between the place names Ibiza and California, that has once again a Pharrell production on the album on the tune ‘Go Up’ that also features Pharrell and Cat Power.
“When we finished the session in New York with Chan [Marshall, of Cat Power] she looked at us and said it’s like a family,” Zdar told Pitchfork. “Pharrell brought his talent and, because he was in the middle of a big, big success, he was bringing a lot of energy… and he brought a nice song, too.” Pre-Order Cassius’ ‘Ibifornia’ and get ‘Go Up’ now.
Cassius – Go Up feat. Pharrell & Cat Power (16′)
Cris Cab – Bada Bing feat. Youssoupha (Official Video) (2016)
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