Although Pharrell Williams never seems to age, his outlook on the 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” has matured. In a fresh interview with GQ on modern masculinity, the Hip Hop icon fully denounced the chart-topping track he was featured on and co-wrote with Robin Thicke, after realizing “we live in a chauvinist culture country.”
Despite severe backlash toward the song’s lyrics — universities even banned the song — Pharrell needed time to reflect.
“I didn’t get it at first,” he says. “Because there were older white women who, when that song came on, they would behave in some of the most surprising ways ever. And I would be like, wow. They would have me blushing. So when there started to be an issue with it, lyrically, I was, like, What are you talking about?
“There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And I know you want it—women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time. So it’s like, What’s rapey about that?”
While the lyrics weren’t intended to encourage rape culture or the objectification of women, Pharrell accepts how they might’ve contributed towards the problem.
“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,” he added. “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. Even though it wasn’t the majority, it didn’t matter. I cared what they were feeling too.”
On chauvinism in America, he concluded, “I didn’t realize that some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.”
Read the full interview here