Tyler, The Creator credits Pharrell with changing the trajectory of his career, and he details the moment in the forthcoming Hulu docuseries, Rap Caviar Presents.
Set to premiere on March 30, Rap Caviar provided a preview of the new series in an Instagram post on Tuesday (February 7). Described as being “inspired by the playlist that tackles some of today’s most provocative issues through stories of the Hip Hop visionaries influencing our culture,” the clip features both Tyler and Pharrell recalling the career-defining connection.
“I didn’t have a father. I didn’t have a big brother. I didn’t have a big cousin,” Tyler began. “So as a kid since 10/11, Pharrell is who I looked at.”
“So through that we just developed like, a friendship where he would ask me advice on certain things,” Pharrell added. “And Tyler was talking about where he was and feeling low. He wants that respect.”
“So it’s this European tour we’re doing,” Tyler continued. “Pharrell’s there. He goes to the next city, I go to the next city. We go to the studio and I’m in there and he’s like looking up to me like, ‘You got it n-gga! You just don’t see it. N-gga you got it! You got the shit! You know what Jimmy Iovine told me?'”
“I said, ‘No, I don’t know what Jimmy Iovine told you, Pharrell.’ [Pharrell told me that Jimmy Iovine said], ‘Pharrell, do you like house music?’ And he said, ‘Yeah like it’s got a good genre, good tempo.’ He’s like, ‘No Pharrell. House music. Good music that could buy you a house.'”
Pharrell then followed it up with advice that would change Tyler’s life.
“Make something undeniable and make it equally as infectious,” the legendary producer told him. “Why are you doing music? Is it just because you just want to look cool? ‘Cause that will burn out. When it becomes purpose-oriented, it can be as cool as the flashy shit but it will be much more meaningful.”
With that advice, Tyler went back home and followed it through.
“Oh fuck,” Tyler said of his thoughts after Pharrell’s words. “Okay no more being silly. Music first. And at that moment, we went home. I just wanted to change everything. I just wanted to switch. And the switch fucking happened.”
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The two went on to have a strong working relationship, coming together for multiple collaborations and performances.
During Tyler’s appearance at Pharrell’s second annual Something In The Water festival last June, he took a moment to give Pharrell his flowers, remarking on his belief that the Neptunes hitmaker is the producer’s producer no matter the era.
“Trying to be all, ‘Ooooh,’ down to earth, n-gga stop it!” he started off. “You are the greatest of all time. The innovation, the execution, but if ni-ggas want to talk numbers, the numbers speak for themselves too.”
Tyler continued, expressing his admiration and loyalty to Pharrell while also commanding the crowd to give it up to the N.E.R.D legend for reviving his music festival brainchild following the pandemic and the death of his cousin Donovan Lynch, who lost his life as the result of a fatal officer-involved shooting last year.
“I love you, I’m forever indebted to you, forever in debt to you, thank you for your existence,” he gushed. “And please give it up to this man for putting this whole thing together. We appreciate you.”
Along with Tyler, The Creator and Pharrell, Rap Caviar Presents will also feature Jack Harlow, Doja Cat, Tyler, The Creator, Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie and Roddy Ricch in its debut season. The project is executive produced by Karam Gill, who directed Showtime’s Tekashi 6ix9ine Supervillain and Lil Baby’s Untrapped documentaries. Spotify executives Carl Chery and Liz Gateley are also on board overseeing the creative side of the docuseries.