He’s A ‘Jazz Artist Reincarnated’: Pharrell Compares Kendrick Lamar To Miles Davis And John Coltrane

Photo Credit: Averie Cole for Okayplayer

On Wednesday Pharrell unveiled a new song from N.E.R.D‘s forthcoming new album No_One Ever Really Dies called “Don’t Don’t Do It,” which features Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean. While premiering the song on Zane Lowe‘s Beats 1 show, the producer talked about how he believes Kendrick is a “jazz artist reincarnated.”

STREAM: N.E.R.D’s “Don’t Don’t Do It” Featuring Kendrick Lamar And Frank Ocean

“The way that he handles the pen is kind of how Miles Davis handled the trumpet. Or how Coltrane fingers just shifted and sifted through his saxophone keys. It’s like his melodies are as prolific and what he has to say has so much harmony and so much color in it,” Pharrell said.

“You’re arguing and asking yourself is it brilliant colorful scribble or is it like really eloquent calligraphy? Is the way he’s rhyming, is that a drumroll or is that like an AR-15 with a banana clip,” Pharrell continued. “That is what a jazz musician is always able to do, a really good one.”

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Pharrell spoke on “Don’t Don’t Do It” and how it was inspired by the shooting of Keith Scott in North Carolina in 2016.

“This was something I saw on the news. We have that crazy, crazy man [running the country] but also they have police that shoot unarmed black people the whole time. It rains and they shoot black people,” Pharrell said. “I hid the story in something that’s so jubilant because that way you won’t miss the message.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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