Pharrell graced the cover of GQ’s “New Masculinity” issue and revealed that he’s embarrassed about the lyrical content in his 2006 mixtape, Gangsta Grillz.
In the mixtape, Skateboard P flexed about his cars, clothes, and bling bling in great detail. “Blow a hundred grand on L.V. leather goods / Lift up the doors, open trunk, open hood / Enzo horse power, crank it up and hear the hooves,” he rapped on the Gangsta Grillz cut, “Liquid Swords.”
But he’s a lot more humble these days, and bows to everyone and explained what inspired him to do this in the cover interview.
“And then I met Nigo, and he didn’t say anything. His cars, his houses, his apartments—he was such an incredible collector. His points of view. But this guy would not say one word. He just bowed all the time. When I went to Japan, I had never met a more humble culture. I was like, These people are so kind, and they have the best taste. Now, at the time , I was still doing, like, my Gangsta Grillz mixtape. I could never listen to it now, because I was bragging so much. I’m so embarrassed by that. I behaved so obnoxiously. But I didn’t know no better. And Nigo’s way of humility, and Tokyo’s way of humility, was seeping into my soul. And then the more I humbled myself down, the less I bragged. The less that I felt like I needed to flex. Humility is a skill set. It’s an art form. It’s something you work at.”
He also talked about the misogyny displayed in most songs just like his “Blurred Lines” collaboration with Robin Thicke and T.I.
“And then 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. 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. I realized that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country. Hadn’t realized that. Didn’t realize that some of my songs catered to that…”
Check out the full interview with Pharrell on GQ here.