Kanye West surprises Pharrell at Q&A

During a Q&A for Pharrels new book titled Places and Spaces I’ve Been at Design in Miami — none other than Kanye West dropped in for a quick question.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ8JDohrmJc&list=PLKPi39tTpkdqNuox7T00c__OfFxmjDkIg&feature=player_embedded

The way these two artists can challenge each other is phenomenal. Kanye’s question is great but Pharrell’s answer is really something inspiring — so much so, even Kanye looks inspired.

Thought provoking it is but the most valuable point Pharrell raises is how perception can be influenced by knowledge and it’s relation to understanding.


How this relates to Hip Hop and Rap Genius?

You may know what a line “IS” — that it’s a reference to “X” and plays on “Y” but do you know WHY?

Why did that artist, make that reference, in that track? Like Pharrell said, it relates to understanding the function.

An example by Kanye himself in Murder to Excellence where his last line from the first verse is;

41 souls murdered in fifty hours

Upon first hearing this I thought he was referring to some kind of massacre/conflict but with further reading I discovered he was directly referring to events in Chicago during 2010. With the community explanation reading;

Between March 31st and April 2nd, 2010, 41 people were shot in Chicago. Only four of those people died, but what Kanye’s really getting at is the fact that the people who fired the guns have “murdered” their own souls by giving into violence. Ye may also mean that the people fired on will never be the same because of the results of the experience.

After reading that, I now know why Kanye used that reference and I understand why he did, thus giving myself a more profound meaning when listening to that track — that being it’s function. This isn’t just the beauty of Rap Genius but it showcases how “understanding” can influence ones perception and can thus create meaning where it may have been absent.


What are your thoughts on that snippet of the Q&A?

Do you feel like the way you personally perceive the music you listen to is based on knowledge and understanding or is it more organic and you feel like you make your own meaning?

December 11th, 2012

This is an amazing thread. Fucking bump.

December 11th, 2012

This. Is. Awesome.

December 11th, 2012

Pharrells answer was boss. Who knew he was such a philosopher lol

December 12th, 2012

This thread be dropping knowledge.

December 12th, 2012

MHealx your the man. I saw this yesterday and what surprised me the most was how quick Pharrell answered and Kanye’s expression. This will make my music experience greater and allow makes me dig deeper into lyric themselves( not like I don’t) and to view artist’s lyrics into their perspective and not only mine. This is golden!!!

December 12th, 2012

It looked like Ye was about to cry and it almost made me cry and damn…

December 12th, 2012

Why is the sound non-existent?

December 12th, 2012

y dey keep it on kanye the whole time

December 12th, 2012

MHealx your the man. I saw this yesterday and what surprised me the most was how quick Pharrell answered and Kanye’s expression. This will make my music experience greater and allow makes me dig deeper into lyric themselves( not like I don’t) and to view artist’s lyrics into their perspective and not only mine. This is golden!!!

Appreciate it sir. I agree — Pharrell being able to answer that quickly really shows his in-depth knowledge and fluency. When you ask someone a question and they tend to take a while to answer — you feel like they don’t know the answer, right? So him being able to answer like that really cements in my mind that he’s both correct but really knowledgeable too.

Glad you got something out of it!

December 12th, 2012

Fucking goat thread, 100/10.

December 17th, 2012

Just realized that this was an MHealx thread, thats why it was so “God with an extra O”

February 6th, 2013

All this before I was a Tyrant…

“New God Flow,” fuck everything else

February 7th, 2013

its not everyday you see a humbled kanye west… this was mind-opening. thank you.

February 7th, 2013

Its cool cause you can tell how good of friends Pharrell and Ye are. There honest friends. Not just business associates or rap friends. Its a very human and honest interaction.

March 5th, 2013

Very nice indeed, I appreciate not just the fact you came to share this vid with us but the insightful analysis you do around it. I completely agree, and I feel strongly identified because I’m not a native English speaker nor from the US, and therefore I’ve come to appreciate this site immensely (I’d say to the point where my experience with rap music wouldn’t be complete without it).

So knowing that people like you also hold this site in such high esteem and give it a meaning beyond the ordinary (exposed perfectly by you and Pharrell) gives me a sense of enormous well being.
Thank you very much sir.

March 6th, 2013