Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Pharrell Williams launches now-obligatory cultural movement company

These days you can't simply have your own clothing line, signature brand of liquor, or even officially licensed wieners and consider yourself a hip-hop star. You also need some sort of ambitious yet vague, all-encompassing "initiative" defined by buzzwords lifted from a motivational corporate retreat—as seen in Kanye West's plans to gather all the world's artists, scientists, egrets, and carnies and form DONDA, and now Pharrell Williams' "i am OTHER," a self-described "cultural movement dedicated to Thinkers, Innovators and Outcasts" who care not for society's rules for living nor capitalization. Williams elaborates on his vision for this branding-resistant brand in his "manifesto," asserting, "OTHERS believe individuality is the new wealth." (Though we're guessing you won't be able to pay for any of Pharrell's "i am OTHER" products with individuality, at least not until all these paradigms have shifted.)


In addition to Williams' old-wealth-celebrating-and-generating Billionaire Boys Club and ICECREAM fashion labels, his OTHER record label imprint, and of course, his sperm liqueur, the "i am OTHER" initiative is balanced by more philanthropic works such as the non-profit From One Hand To Another for at-risk kids, collaborations with artist resource centers, and the environmentally friendly Bionic Yarn. He's also launched an "i am OTHER"  YouTube channel, an eclectic assortment of programming that includes the web series Awkward Black Girl, a show featuring bizarro interviewer Nardwuar, a man-on-the-street format that "tests assumptions about musical tastes based on physical appearance," and also State Of The Union, "an intimate weekly report" wherein Williams talks about whatever is on his mind—"everything from his favorite snacks to fashion must-haves," which will help you be an individual, just like him. Anyway, if you're a rapper and you haven't yet founded a confusingly amorphous marketing initiative that promises to "change the world," you should stop rapping because you're nobody.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter