Pharrell Says Response To ‘Blurred Lines’ Made Him Realize ‘We Live In A Chauvinist Culture’
Photo: Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

Pharrell Williams is finally opening up about the controversy around his 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines.”

Williams admitted that he initially didn’t get why people thought of the song as “rapey,” but said in a new GQ interview that he soon realized “what was actually being said in the song.”

“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?'”the producer told the publication.

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“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,” Williams conceded. “It just matters how it affects women. And I was like, ‘Got it. I get it. Cool.’ My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel.”

Williams added that “we live in a chauvinist culture in our country” and he hadn’t realized that some of his songs “catered to that.”

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Backlash over the song’s lyrics wasn’t the only problem the producer faced.

Months after the release of “Blurred Lines,” singer-songwriter Robin Thicke was accused of plagiarizing Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke, alongside co-writers Williams and T.I., filed a lawsuit against Gaye’s family, who later countersued. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 2015 with Williams and Thicke ordered to pay Gaye’s estate $7.3 million.