Pharrell Aimlessly Travels The Globe In His New High-Drama Video For "Freedom"
When Pharrell dropped his latest single "Freedom" earlier this month, we were impressed but not at all surprised by its driving, anthemic mien. Here is a track built of a simple piano riff and positive, populist message; it's "Happy" but with the threat of gritty explosions, a three minute big tent inspirational quote that raises a fist in protest against, well, everything. Pharrell's likely the only pop star on earth with the career clout and culture status to even think of attempting such a song without the entire world scoffing "You can't be serious." This is Pharrell as only he himself can do it, and now we've got a video to match.
In the new "Freedom" clip we're whisked through a sort of mini civil rights documentary (or some corporate training video montage), treated to shots of Hindu elders musing before mountains, crowded Asian cities, abandoned malls, sweatshop laborers and black bodies piled into an arid mine, toiling under both the sun and the guns of soldiers. There are bucking broncos, newborn babies and Muhammad Ali. There's certainly a lot happening, but what is it, exactly? The clip plays on like a pre-roll ad you can't skip after five seconds, sprawling in its production value but wispy in its pitch. Pharrell wants us to fight back against, well, whatever. You can buy "Freedom" on iTunes today and watch Pharrell's intercontinental video for the song below; just don't try to think too hard on what it all might mean.