With Jay Z’s eighth studio effort The Black Album turning a decade old this November, Life+Times sat with Pharrell to discuss his musical chemistry with the Brooklyn Boy and the creative process behind the album that delivered such radio magnets like “99 Problems” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” The purveyor of good music says that their bond was birthed from the booth deeply rooted in an authentic admiration for each other’s interests.
“Once we met, we just creatively admired the different aspects in the way that we work and I think we’re artists’ artists,” says Pharrell. “We admire other people’s processes, and take interest in the things that inspire each other … It wasn’t just the way our music sounded, but where it came from. That’s where our friendship developed. He was like the architect and the contractor. I thought I was there to just facilitate.”
Skateboard P also discussed the emo side of Hov. “He’s crazy sick with like a night club record, but when he goes emotional, it’s unbelievable,” Pharrell continues. “It’s like he connects to a couple past lives. I mean what he said about his boy Bob that died, like when he said “Bob Allah, reverse the crash,” that whole paragraph was like another level.”
Watch one of Shawn Carter’s closest chums delve into the Black hole further above.