Pharrell talks about his girls-only gym, being 40, and his views on the cosmos

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Step aside Jay and ‘Ye, Pharrell is the new King of Cool. The rapper/producer/entreprener/fashion icon graces the cover of the GQ‘s Style Issue this month. (Yep, he’s winking at you.)

The photo spread featured an amazing polka-dot ensemble that you can’t miss. Pharrell really seems to be bringing the Dr. Seuss game to his style choices and it totally works for him. (It’s the cheekbones.) While cruising around Miami, he shared his thoughts on politics, black culture and the space and time continuum. Here are some highlights:

On the girls-only gym he’s invested in: “they can find their inner beauty and find their inner challenging spirit and find their bravery, all by dancing, and then at the same time getting fit…you’re going to see loads and loads of women doing, you know, trap dances and squatting low…”

On his reaction to Frozen‘s “Let It Go” winning the Oscar over his song, “Happy” for Despicable Me 2: “Well, trust me: when they read the results, my face was…frozen. But then I thought about it, and I just decided just to…let it go.”

On being unhappy after his first record In My Mind: I felt like I had amassed this big body of work, most—not all—but most of which was just about self-aggrandizement, and I wasn’t proud of it. So I couldn’t be proud of the money that I had; I couldn’t be proud of all the stuff that I had. I was thankful, but what did it mean? What did I do? And at this point, where I came from, I’m just throwing it in that kid’s face, instead of saying, “Look at all the fish I have, and look how much we’re going to eat.” It should’ve been—at least a part of it—teaching them how to fish.

On getting older: “I’m about to be 41, so I understand the value of life. The value of life is the value of life, not “life” the word itself. It’s the definition. It’s where all the life is. Life is about definitions, not about the words. Words are just incantations.”

On time being a flat circle: “The ultimate connection between time and space is time and space. Without time, there is no measurement of space. Without space, there is no measurement of time. We need them both to coexist. And the theory of everything is that everything exists at the same time, is connected. So we’re connected. Are we connected physically now? No. But are we physically connected in this moment? Yes.”

On people criticizing him for not having enough black women on the cover of G I R L: “It’s insecurity. If you love who you are—and I’m not saying that there’s not a plight out there for people who have different skin colors, because Mexicans go through just as much discrimination, if not more discrimination, than black people do in this country. Right? That’s why I wrote “Marilyn Monroe,” man: That which makes you different is what makes you special. You don’t gotta be waif, white, and thin to be beautiful. You can be anything that you want to be, and what I chose to do is put my friends on the cover.”

On what the Tea Party is really up to: “They’re all trying to learn how to do the Dougie. Please. While their daughters are all twerking…All those little girls, all those girls with their Republican daddies, they’re twerkin’ somewhere listening to Jay Z and Beyoncé and doin’ the “Happy” dance. And that’s black.”

On what it means to be black these days: “Black ain’t a color: Black is a spirit, and it is ubiquitous. In fact, there’s more black out in space than there is stars. We have nothing to be insecure about.”

On who the real Pharrell is: “You don’t understand who I am as a person. I’m not a renaissance man. What I am is a maverick, and I don’t want to be put in a box at all.”


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