Any band can release two wanky singles and have a Greatest Hits record. Just ask Hilary Duff. But for some reason no one has ever released a Worstest Hits record. Enter Noisey.
If time capsules were anything more than a tender way for parents to bury the pet hamster and CDs that they didn’t want to play in the car anymore, it’s certain that when someone accidently evacuates the shoeboxes of stuff using a fracking drill, 43% of the music will have involved Pharrell.
Dude has been beautifully unavoidable for the past decade, shaping pop music and making your skin complexion jealous. But it’s important to remember that he’s also a real human, and like every other real human, not everything that he’s made is perfect. Here’s Pharrell’s Worstest Hits...
THE SONG “HAPPY” BEING USED IN THINGS THAT REMIND US OF THE INEVITABLE PROCESS OF DECAY
This video isn’t really Pharrell’s fault. He probably didn’t set out to create the only all-seeing pop song of the last five years that doesn’t contain problematic relations to Maoist feminism and protectorate imperialism. The only potentially controversial bit is “clap along if you feel like a room without a roof” in light of recent meteorological events in Britain. But Pharrell has to shoulder some of the responsibility - on his lithe, auroral shoulder - for “Happy” being used to rabble rouse the crowd at the World Indoor Bowls Championship in Great Yarmouth. The song’s ubiquity means that despite sounding like a springbok after losing its virginity, it’s been used at an event where the crowd are sitting above a justretirement.com advertisement, arms quivering like defrosting kievs as they clap so grudgingly you’d think they were welcoming C-Murder to the stage.
“Semantic satiation” is the psychological phenomenon where you repeat a word or phrase so many times that it loses meaning, rendering the word repeated meaningless sounds. The editor of the 24 hour video for “Happy” now only eats slugs and will never be happy again. Hope you’re happy Pharrell.
Here’s Dappy enjoying the bowls in his nice fleece.
THIS SCULPTURE HE MADE WITH JACOB & CO AND TAKASHI MURAKAMI
The Dadaist and Arte Povera movements strove to elevate everyday detritus surrounding you into art; a discarded coldsore, some splinters, an aubergine that has grown fur cuffs. What did Pharrell have lying around? An empty Doritos packet under his bed that was made of diamonds, a condom wrapper, made out of diamonds. Ketchup, made of diamonds, and a can of Pepsi, made of diamonds, because I don’t think Pharrell is legally even allowed to burp if it’s not been caused by Pepsi. Him and Jacob the jeweller placed these objects within the mouth of a Beanie Baby that had been on Krokodil for a lunar cycle. Feel free to tell me to hush my mouth because no one will ever buy anything I make for $2 million at Art Basel and the next time I use my fine art degree will be when I try to zest up a cafe’s chalkboard sign that will immediately get rained on.
WHEN HE SUNG TO THE STAFF OF MCDONALDS
In the tertiary stage of his immortal youth, Pharrell briefly and unsuccessfully worked at McDonalds. Years later, Pharrell returned, finding himself in a Parisian airport at 6am, his impromptu song beseeching that all he wants is “a quarter pounder, french fries, icy cold milkshake, sundaes and apple pies.” AKA can they open please, he’s really hungry. The pat on the bacne McDonalds’ public image would have gotten if they had just given him some flaccid patties; the pink slime would have been forgiven, I would have chosen to forget the time my friend found a staple in her Big Mac. Just give the God man something to masticate, he’s been on a really long flight and has earache. Corporations are heartless.
THIS FINGERING CANDLE
This range of candles produced with Atelier WM in 2008 features N*E*R*D’s trademark vulcan salute, as well as other hand gestures. One of them is very rude. I’d like to know how many A+E admissions there were from people, um, falling onto these and ending up with Pharrell’s waxen digits lodged in their fallopian tubes.
My main quandary with these is that I have a really bad phobia of wrists, so imagining the tendons - tense with the exertion of the vulcan salute - being slowly eroded by molten wax makes me need to sit with my head between my knees and breathe in, and out.
THE TIME HE COLLABORATED WITH MIKA
Does the verse and pre-chorus melody on this strike you as familiar? It might be because it is exactly the same as “Call Me Maybe”. You just can’t do that! Did Shia tell you it was ok? All just to create the kind of song that’s destined to live out its crotchets in five second scene changes in the corridors of a sentimental Hollyoaks episode celebrating individuality.
Pharrell’s guest verse is very noncommittal - instructing us to stand up and have fun. He doesn’t tell us how so I don’t know whether he wants me to buy yaba or playdough spaghetti. You have to be clear Pharrell. You have to tell a girl what she wants.
THE GREATEST- YI ZHOU
Ever wanted to watch a film scored by Ennio Morricone featuring a landscape of udders and Pharrell as an exploding clay vase? CLICK CLICK CLICK!
THE TIME HE COLLABORATED WITH CONOR MAYNARD
To me Conor Maynard seems like one of those singers (see also John Newman) that when you see his face in five years, you won’t know whether you think you recognise him because you got off with him once, or you think he might have been in a Year 11 citizenship video about the dangers of jaywalking. Either way, his debut album Contrast had an impressive list of co-writers and producers, including a songwriting credit from Frank Ocean on “Pictures.” “Lift Off” produced by Pharrell, sadly sounds like some sputum Justin Timberlake coughed up during the recording of Justified and left to quiver near the mixing deck. Conor’s lyrical prowess is best demonstrated in the line “your aura is so shiny”. Seeing as Conor is the go to patron saint for girls making their first forays into puberty, this might come across as quite insensitive, as the object of his affections might think he’s talking about her T-Zone. But this is to be expected from the boy who also boasts “Said she wanna peel my banana na”, and “my wine would be sweet if you were my grape”. I imagine Conor on a spinny chair, making innuendos about everything in the complimentary fruit bowl; “I wanna feel your sultana…you want to peel my banana AHAHAHAHAHAH”. Pharrell is sat there with his head in his hands, powerless to stop this tiny man.
From his 2010 collection with Moncler.
I am sceptical about the efficiency of a bulletproof vest stuffed with feathers.
While we can be grateful that Pharrell hs never had to resort to anything like this to bring home original Francis Bacons, his Qream strawberry liqueur looks a lot like the drink we recently made out of Angel Delight, cotton wool and cough syrup. It’s a shame really as any drink made by Pharrell should taste like a melting snowflake licked off a dove’s teat. Of it he says:
“I was afforded this opportunity by Diageo and I decided to just look at the market and see who I felt was not being served and it was the women. I want to bring back indulgence and not make you feel fat every time you look at a bottle, or have to ration out the next day is after you’ve had a couple of drinks. It’s lactose friendly.”
Although at least it could be said to be less sexist than BIC’s gendered biros, I don’t know about everyone else who owns ovums but I don’t feel fat every time I look at a bottle, unless I’m at the recycling bins and I can tell that the bottle banks had just been talking about the photo I detagged from graduation. Or unless I’m looking at a bottle of vegetable oil in the moments before I pour it up in my trachea. But generally I tend to ignore comments from drinking receptacles.
In the interview, as well as managing to unhook the presenter’s bra with his eyelashes he says; “sometimes we don’t break dairy down properly and it gives us...issues”. How does he manage to make trapped wind sound so titillating?
PS. Maybe don’t name a drink aimed at women something halfway between queef and cream.
Follow Josie on Twitter @JosieRaeT