Pharrell Reveals Regrets About ‘Blurred Lines’ and Early Work — ‘I’m So Embarrassed’

Since getting his start in the music industry as a teenager, Pharrell Williams has become one of the most beloved R&B artists of our time. Throughout his career, the Happy singer has accumulated several awards for his music including 13 Grammy Awards, 6 Billboard Music Awards, and 7 different BET Awards, just to name a few. And he doesn’t seem like he is any near ready to slow down.

Some of his earlier songs, including Blurred Lines, are what helped to put Williams on the map. However, he recently had an interview with GQ Magazine where he said that he has grown quite a bit as a person over the last few years and he actually finds some of his earliest work pretty embarrassing.

Why is Williams embarrassed by Blurred Lines and his early work? Keep reading to find out.

Pharrell Williams’ career

Pharrell Williams attends the Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018 show.
Pharrell Williams | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Williams has loved music all of his life. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and has said that when he was young, he used to sit with his aunt and listen to music for hours. That may be where the love of music really began for Williams.

Then, in the early 90s, he and his best friend, Chad Hugo, started making music and performing together. Soon after that, they became the iconic musical producing duo, the Neptunes. During his time as a producer, Williams got the chance to work with many talented artists, including Jay Z, Britney Spears, and Usher.

Then in 2013, Williams really began to find his place as a solo artist. He co-wrote and performed the song, Blurred Lines with Robin Thicke and T.I. He also had his first solo hit entitled Happy that landed at the top of the Billboard music charts.

The ‘Blurred Lines’ controversy

When Blurred Lines first hit the radio, many people thought that it was a fun, upbeat song that anyone could dance to. However, once they started to really listen to the lyrics, many fans started to notice that some of the lyrics could be interpreted as wildly inappropriate.

In the song, there are lyrics that say: “I know you want it,” as well as, “And that’s why I’m ‘gon take a good girl.” To many people, those lyrics seem to suggest that the artists were being dismissive about the importance of consent. 

Pharrell Williams now gets embarrassed when he thinks back to his earlier work

In an interview with GQ, Williams admits that when he first started his musical career, he never really took the time to consider that some of his lyrics may be offensive and insensitive to women. However, the backlash that he had received from Blurred Lines help to open his eyes and reconsider singing lyrics that may be offensive to some people.

He said that at first, he didn’t understand why people were getting offended by the lyrics. He felt that other female artists at the time were singing lyrics that were similar to “I know you want it,” so he didn’t understand why people would get offended if he added those lyrics to his song.

“And then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of women,” Williams had said. “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 is 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.”

Since Williams had that “eye-opening experience,” he says that he is a lot more aware of the content that he creates.