Pharrell recounted the advice he received from the legendary musician during an interview with Rick Rubin.
GQ recently released a video interview between Pharrell and Rick Rubin that finds the pair talking about everything from the first time the former heard LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells” (which Rubin co-wrote and produced) to their creative process.
Also discussed during their almost 50-minute-long interview was the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit Pharrell was involved in with the Marvin Gaye Estate. While discussing the lawsuit and how it left him feeling afterward, Pharrell also spoke on some advice Stevie Wonder gave him during the trial.
“He said, ‘You gotta get the right musicologist in there because juries don’t understand. It’s very technical what you’ve done,'” Pharrell said. “…I didn’t take Stevie’s advice to the fullest extent. I thought I was but I really underestimated people not getting that.”
“That one hurt me. That one set me back,” the Neptunes producer added.
Elsewhere, Rubin asks Pharrell if the lawsuit changed the way the Neptunes producer makes music.
“No. This is the only way I know how to make it,” Pharrell responded. “…This was just like a freak situation that was meant to humble me. To teach me a lesson. And I think that lesson was just be very clear and what my intentions are and to just not assume that everybody understands…”
Pharrell also recently spoke on the lyrics behind the controversial “Blurred Lines” with GQ.
“…when there started to be an issue with it, lyrically, I was, like, What are you talking about? There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And I know you want it—women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time. So it’s like, What’s rapey about that?” Pharrell said. “And then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, 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.”