What is Pharrell’s Meaning of Freedom


Published by on August 12, 2015

What else can be said about the talented and prolific Pharrell Williams? A rhetorical question that can only put things in perspective and make us look back at the growing superstar that was to become P. Willy. With a rich musical background and important collaborations from an early age, Pharrell helped form the well-known N.E.R.D., then took off to create this innovative and influential persona that we know today.

Pharrell Williams Freedom Music Video

A Social, Political and Environmental Enlightenment

The song Freedom is definitely a separate chapter in Pharrell’s book; as every artist has a moment (unless they build a career out of it) of social, political or environmental enlightenment, it is a very pleasant surprise to hear this track at the peak of the career of such an influential singer. Although the subject is not by far a new one, and although other artists have stated concepts about this topic of a greater impact (see RATM’s Freedom), Pharrell takes the audience to the fullest of the experience, and he does it in his own unique, original way.

The Secret Sauce in this Musical Masterpiece

Style-wise, the song is constructed as both a gospel and a spoken-word performance, while maintaining the R&B and Hip-Hop groove this artist has delighted us with in the past. Both the lyrics and the video are based on contradictory elements and ideas put together – Orient vs Occident, civilization vs slavery, modern day decay vs spiritual growth. Letting go, holding on, food chains and hierarchies, trust in each other, all are ideas shouted out in order to reach the listener- and he does it in the most natural, humble yet impactful way. There is no space left for fame, egos, money or other themes that were being treated either by himself or other artists or the same genre- it is a genuine effort to bring people together through the ever-growing power of music.

The groove is linear but firm, the melody is strong and immersive; the lyrics are strong and the chorus diversifies, it grows in intensity, just like a prayer or a call to arms, but one for peace and liberation. It is like a rapid stream of thoughts and consciousness, an essence, a vivid concept. That is exactly why this song deserves a worldly attention- it deals with a fragile subject in an artistic manner, through music and the voice of a generation.



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