Pharrell spoke to Kanye West for the Summer 2020 issue of i-D.
Two days after Kanye West donated to the family of George Floyd, the interview for Pharrell’s cover story on i-D was released where he interviews Pharrell about faith, black culture media and how inspired Kanye was by him.
Given that Kanye was calling from one of his ranches in Wyoming, and Pharrell was somewhere in Miami, each practicing social distancing, they both detailed their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a plague we’re living through at the moment. I don’t think there will be such a thing as a new normal – it doesn’t do enough justice to the difference in who we were pre-pandemic and who we will be moving forward,” Pharrell said. “Life’s going to have a different kind of gravity than it’s ever had before. It’s also gonna make us really separated… But we have been through many plagues before. We have been through pandemics. We survived. We’re gonna make it. In a lot of ways we got ourselves into this, we gotta get to work to get through it.”
Kanye also discussed the cultural impact of Michael Jackson and how he feels like the media has plotted to tear him, and other Black cultural figures, down in a similar way over the years. “In a way [Pharrell]‘s very similar to Michael Jackson, in the ways where Michael Jackson was doing covert, super gangsta stuff, like he’d just pop the needles off. He kissed Elvis Presley’s daughter on MTV. Black culture used to be… we used to be fronting all night, but Michael was doing stuff that was different to what we were programmed to understand as being what we should do. He bought The Beatles’ back catalogue.”
Kanye continued, “We should have something that says we can’t allow any company to tear down our heroes. Not on The Shade Room, not on social media and especially not in documentaries. I’m like every time the media isn’t happy with me it’s like, ‘Here they go. They’re gonna come and Wacko Jacko me.’ Which in some ways, they’ve tried to do.”
Other highlights include Kanye’s continual plan to build homeless shelters, which he’s currently workshopping in Wyoming, the emergence of the Age of Aquarius and more. “Faith is not about what you see, faith is not about what you hear. Faith is about what you feel, and mankind is absolutely in a place and in a state of feeling more than it ever has been before,” Pharrell said.
Read the full cover story interview on i-D.
Terrell Johnson is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of SWGRUS.