“When your parents come into the room — whether it’s you or your cousin that knocked the vase down — both of y’all sit up at attention,” said Pharrell Williams. During CNN’s interview with the producer, Pharrell made the statement in reference to the current state of Ferguson. Who are the “parents” he thinks should come into the room? President Obama.
The hip-hop artist has not been as vocal (until this point) as some of his contemporaries have been. In August, fourteen artists pooled their rap talent to make a musical collage called “Don’t Shoot,” including Swizz Beatz, 2 Chainz, the Game, Yo Gotti and more. “We have the hearts,” said the Game. Fresco Kane also penned “No Justice No Peace,” and Childish Gambino wrote a poem. The first thing Pharrell said on Ferguson was not a cry of rage: “I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the way that it was handled from the government side.” The singer continued to calmly but firmly declare, “In certain places, we do feel like we’re being hunted. But there are good policemen, and there are bad policemen. There are good kids, and there are bad kids. Regardless, that child should not have been shot down like that.”
Pharrell also told CNN that he didn’t think the media covered enough of the peaceful responses in Ferguson. “Let me make it very clear, because people like to soundbite… this is the day and age of soundbiting, I love my culture, but I don’t want my culture to want nothing from nobody else, we need to do what we can do ourselves. And the only thing is, I was disappointed that while we had so much peaceful protesting going on, what the media chose to cover was the random few people that threw Molotov cocktails, the random people that had guns on them.”
“We gotta spend more time focusing on those people, the non-violent protesting, we didn’t spend enough time on that. That’s why I think the president needs to come down there.” When asked to clarify why he thinks the president should come down more than three weeks after the event, Pharrell said, “This is a deeper laceration in this country. This is going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever. We thought we had gotten so far.”